How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Miles Davis spawned generations of "hip" artists after 1970 when he championed the fusion of jazz with rock music. Instruments and techniques from the world of hard rock combined with the trumpeter’s unmistakable force and produced an updated product. It was one that would attract a growing audience. David Wasik’s quartet is rooted in jazz; however, the end result is equal parts jazz, rock and rap/poetry. Walking the fine line between talking and rapping, Wasik speaks in rhythmic patterns to lead each track. They’re danceable rhythms with a variety of sound effects: turntable scratches, electronic squeals, distortion, noise. A few parts of the album, such as "Bliss," are somewhat harsh, with excessive (intentional) noise gaining the upper hand. Most of the session applies the spoken word as its central focus with appropriate shades and colors added by the rhythm section. More information about Wasik’s band is available at http://www.thewaz.com .
The music on The WAZ – Melodic Hypnotic is driven by the leader on drums and vocals. Wasik uses the spoken word in a rhythmic groove to offer messages that deal with social issues: racial and ethnic harmony, poverty, societal change, and religion. Richard Klammer’s muted trumpet graces "Dig?" and sets the mood for the rest of the album. He and David Kane add spontaneity to the session. The trumpeter returns for six more of the nine numbers with a unique unpredictable counterpoint. Klammer’s in full force on "Bubble Rump," a poetic look at physical attractions. Along with his vocal lead, Wasik has laid down intricate drum set patterns that sound programmed and constant. The crisp rudimentary drum work he offers on "Second Hand Stuff" sits well beside the synthesizer’s harmonic echoes and a verbal message about fashion choices that are made as a result of shopping in second hand stores. The WAZ - Melodic Hypnotic is a well-made production that should appeal to a broad audience. However, a cursory listen or a casual hearing may fail to reveal the embedded jazz elements.
Track Listing: Dig?; Fresh Out of Bed Look; Gotta Hang In; Cyber Jungle [The Real Deal]; Second Hand Stuff; Bliss; Man From Morocco; Bubble Rump; Under The Weeping Willow.
Personnel: David Wasik- drums, percussion, voice; Jim Wynn- basses; David Kane- keyboards, assorted electronic devices; Richard Klammer- trumpet.