is a well-traveled musician and current worship director in the Chicago area. Stephen founded and continues to work with The Jazz Package (a collective of jazz musicians) while in Dallas and continues to work as a freelance musician. The Stephen Lynerd Group released the album Steadfast Love
before the end of 2019, consisting of Lynerd playing vibraphone with multiple other accompanying musicians adding piano, bass, drums, steel guitar, and vocals along the way. Steadfast Love
is a jazz album that's split in half with instrumental ("Foundation," Hyfrydol," "Swing Low," and "Open My Eyes") and vocal ("Great is Thy Faithfulness," "Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul," "Steadfast Love," and "Jesus Lover of My Soul") tracks. While vibraphone may not be the first instrument you think of in jazz music (most people flash immediately to piano, some sort of horn, or guitar), Lynerd is an excellent player. He makes the instrument stand out in the mix like what a guitar would do in the same setting -- just offering a different type of sound. What stands out almost as much as Lynerd's vibraphone is the great bass lines offered by Tim Seisser.
As a whole, the album offers a pleasant listen -- especially if you're looking for something a little different. I found myself enjoying the sound of the vibraphone and appreciating something a little out of the norm. My favorite instrumental track is "Hyfrydol" as everything works together wonderfully. The piano is a great foundation, the bass is at its best, and the vibraphone carries the melody so well. As far as the vocal tracks, I'm partial to the Andrew Scriven-led "Great is Thy Faithfulness." The feel here is so great as an almost bluesy vibe sneaks into the jazz music. Fans of jazz music should definitely give Stephen Lynerd a listen, but those just looking to hear something a little different than the "same ole, same ole" could also find some enjoyment here. The instrumental tracks alone are worth the listen.
- Review date: 6/26/20, written by Michael Weaver