A hauntingly beautiful album, trumpeter Donald Byrd's A New Perspective is a unique pairing of a jazz septet with an 8-voice choir. The choir's wordless harmonizing lends an incredible heaviness to the music, a weight that leaves a deep impression in the mind of the listener. Although the group features such stars as Herbie Hancock and Kenny Burrell, they take care to act in support of the overall concept and not overplay, while Byrd's solos provide a perfect compliment to the choir, often quoting the same melodies. While some cuts like the opener "Elijah" swing jubilantly, the album works best on slow, somber numbers like "Beast of Burden" and "Cristo Redentor", the languid paces of which allow them to resonate with an almost unbearable degree of solemnity. An absolute must-have album.