“Jim James as you’ve never heard him. In fact, it’s likely you’ve never heard anything quite like this….an album that is sonically magnificent”
“two of the world’s most vibrant and versatile musicians…an explosion of music that boldly synthesizes rock and classical while taking advantage of orchestral music’s inherently cinematic nature”
“a lush, pastoral, optimistic portrait of nature while simultaneously exploring politics, the natural order, and the hopelessness of hatred”
Consequence of Sound
“full of knowing references to orchestral soul and pop”
Conductor, composer, and Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra Teddy Abrams and lead singer and songwriter of My Morning Jacket Jim James have teamed up to create “a fairly lit collaboration” (Rolling Stone), The Order of Nature. The album was recorded in 2018 with the Louisville Orchestra during the annual Festival of American Music and released in October 2019 on Decca Gold. The Order of Nature is a song cycle for orchestra inspired by the natural world and its message of peace, love, and equality. As James says in the album text, “Animals kill each other, but only out of hunger, while humans daily choose to hate – we choose to ignore the order of nature and that choice is wreaking havoc.”
This “magical collaboration” (NPR) was born of a friendship between Jim and Teddy and the fertile music scene of James’ hometown of Louisville, KY. The Order Of Nature comprises brand-new songs penned by James and orchestrated by Abrams into cinematic, lush soundscapes that presents James’ voice and words in a whole new light. James’ and Abrams also include works from James’ solo projects (Uniform Distortion, Uniform Clarity, Eternally Even), as well as works by Leonard Bernstein and Nina Simone.
This project is available for symphony orchestras beginning this season. In May of 2020, Jim James and Teddy Abrams will perform The Order Of Nature with the Seattle Symphony as well as with the Colorado Symphony. Earlier this year, they performed with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.
“In their symbiotic relationship, James, who performs as both a solo artist and the leader of rock band My Morning Jacket, has given Abrams and his orchestra an edge and lyrical depth. Abrams, meanwhile, has lent James a theatrical element unmatched by anything he could have created on his own in a studio. Together, they build a story complete with expositions, arching climaxes and grand denouements. Songs roll into one another in such a way that it’s not always apparent where one ends and another begins.” Associated Press
“The spirit and sound here is a bit What’s Goin On and a bit “Nature Boy,” addressing timely issues —guns, civil unrest, newsfeed overload, delusional religion — and advocating for love over hate. It’s good to hear the grain of James’ voice minus its usual cloak of reverb; his writing’s passionate, and the orchestrations show smarts and wit…It doesn’t rock, per se, but it does soar.” Rolling Stone