The Psalms

REX Music, Kiwibird Music, 1994

. . . In addition to Ballard’s fabulous piano playing, other great musicians such as Alex Acuña and Fletch Wiley help set the mood. . . While the album has a dominant classical sound, diversity is apparent in Psalm 100, which introduces a jazz sax and bass. The gospel flavor to Psalm 150 carries through the celebration expressed in that Scripture. . . . a great collection. Moody Monthly, November, 1994

I’m always hard-pressed to select the recordings I’ll write about. But now and then I stumble across something so unique and creative, it breaks new artistic ground. This concept recording pairs paraphrases of selected Psalms with gorgeous musical and vocal renderings capturing the diversity of feeling and subject matter to a remarkable degree. A beautiful blend of new age, jazz, and classical flavors. . .  the considerable talents of the performers are all directed on bringing out the rich beauty of the Psalms. National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), March, 1995:

[The Psalms] is fresh and invigorating each time you come back to it. That much is clear. What isn’t as easy to pin down is exactly what musical box The Psalms fits into. . . The variety alone makes this album worth owning; the flawless quality of its arrangements and execution throws it over the edge of good to great! Just when your mind catches a melody, Ballard throws in another instrument, lays down subtle harmony in the background or takes the whole thing in another direction altogether. Suddenly you realize that nothing else would have sufficed at that very moment. New Man Magazine (July/August, 1995):

Psalm 1
Psalm 2
Psalm 22