Sunday, October 1, 2006

Sting Takes Flight in a Dream...

The Dream of the Blue Turtles
Released June 1985 by A&M Records

...To many, this first glimpse of Sting as a solo artist did not match his Police profile - I was familiar with an arrogant prince, not a thoughtful and beguiling troubador fronting a band of accomplished musicians who, more often than not, seemed to be creating the music around Sting. Janice Pendarvis and Dolette McDonald were the first voices heard on the album: "Free, Free...set them free", Branford Marsalis graced each phrase with a fluid saxophone, Omar Hakim provided rhythmic flourishes that still touched on Stewart Copeland's skills with the hi-hat and toms yet suggested that something new was happening, Kenny Kirkland infused jazz and gospel into the sounds with his amazing command of the keyboards, and Daryl Jones aptly handled the bass, given rein over Sting's own instrument. Here was something new, something different, and after first hearing, something exciting. From the very start, The Dream of The Blue Turtles lifted above The Police, above the murky English new wave favored by the Breakfast Club wannabes walking in my footsteps after my graduation from high school. And, it lifted me into a new appreciation for Sting as a lyricist and composer...

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