The Fellowship

Western Vinyl

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Across eight tracks that mesh spacious, jazz-laced composition with fourth-world and adult-contemporary tonality, Toronto saxophonist Joseph Shabason sketches an auditory map of the transcendence, unity, conditioning, and eventual renunciation of his upbringing in an Islamic and Jewish dual-faith household. The resulting album The Fellowship bears the name of the insular Islamic community Shabason’s traditionally Jewish parents belonged to from a time before he was even born; a mental and spiritual push-pull which continued shaping, even controlling, his outlook well into his adulthood. As a listening experience The Fellowship follows a chronological arc that spans three generations covering his parents’ early lives, his own spiritual and physical adolescence, and his subsequent struggle to eschew the problematic habituations of such a conflicted past. On The Fellowship, as on prior albums that bear his name, Joseph Shabason does what only the best instrumental music makers can: tell a story with emotional clarity that conveys even the subtlest of feelings, all without singing a single word. As wordless as ever-- with as complex a theme as ever-- this album may be his most emotionally articulate yet. Most importantly, those lost in the woods of repression and self-doubt that organized religion can be at its worst now have The Fellowship to help guide them into a softer light.

“gorgeous and empathetic ambient music.” – Pitchfork
“I love it…very exciting." – Bob Boilen, NPR Music
“…densely textured ambient jazz that is wonderful to immerse yourself in…” - The Guardian
“...seriously engaging…” – Aquarium Drunkard
“…magical transportive healing vibes.” – Gorilla vs. Bear
“…rich, healing ambient jazz.” – The A. V. Club
“…at once intimate and universal, honest and hopeful.” - Resident Advisor

R.I.Y.L. - Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Laraaji, Robert Rich, Harold Budd


1. Life With My Grandparents
2. Escape From North York
3. The Fellowship
4. 0-13
5. 13-15
6. 15-19
7. Comparative World Religions
8. So Long