"We started with the principle - the cosmic idea that we were taught by our father from a very young age - that the stars and planets make a sound, that deep in outer space there is audible harmony." With its cathedral-like, richly resonant acoustics, 'Book of Sound' is a brilliant expression of this interplanetary principle. The album is by turns urgent and contemplative, funky and reflective, varied in its textures, but entirely of one piece. Underpinned by concepts of our earth's place in the cosmos, held in place by meditation, swirling with notions of history, science, theology, ancestry, there is a rich conceptual brew here. But always, what talks loudest is the music. The album rings with what back in the 1950s the jazz critic Whitney Balliet called the sound of surprise'. At a time when the phrase Spiritual Jazz threatens in some quarters to become a tired cliche, this is a record that makes you believe again in the genre's validity.
It's Phil Cohran (the father of all seven members of the Ensemble and their first teacher, and not just in music) who is the album's guiding spirit. For Cid it's a major regret that, in the months before their father's death early in 2017, Phil was not well enough to play on the album. He loved the whole idea, and we had the perfect place for his zither'. But Book Of Sound is a magnificent testament to their Cohran legacy. "You know, it's tough trying to satisfy everybody with our music. It's hard enough satisfying ourselves, let alone the jazz scene, the hip hop guys, what have you. With this album we just dropped all that as a consideration, and tuned into deeper principles."