All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1

Jim Wellman: Dawn to Dusk

Paul Naser By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Wellman, multi-instrumentalist and co-founding member of acid jazz outfit the Brand New Heavies, was all but done working in music when the idea for his latest release, Dawn to Dusk, gripped him and wouldn't let him go. According to him, after witnessing certain world events, in particular events in Ukraine, he "felt he had to do something to express his dissent." What he ended up with is a very accessible, genre crossing album that, in his words, "is social commentary, but viewed through perspectives of human psychological evolution, and analysis of mass communication and propaganda."

Taking musical cues from disco, smooth jazz, and many kinds of rock, Dawn to Dusk brings to mind Earth, Wind & Fire, Steely Dan and, though with significantly less energy, Snarky Puppy. The arrangements and melodies are compelling, but as Wellman himself played and produced everything but some of the vocals, the performances lack the intensity and tightness of the aforementioned bands.

Wellman's playing undoubtedly deserves kudos though; his funky guitar comping and solo on the opener "Lucy" give the track character and help bring it to a satisfying climax. His percussion work adds a subtle yet very evocative element to many tracks and evidences his rhythmic concept. "Night of the Meme" begins and is based of an interesting 6/8 figure that underlies the song's interesting harmonic shifts. Wellman is obviously a skilled producer, as well. On tracks like, "Premature Truth," he makes effective use of multiple instrumental tracks to create a lush stereo image, and when he inserts spoken word segments they take center stage yet don't bury the musical accompaniment.

While the lyrics, which cover many heady themes and, despite their sophistication, never really feel un-singable or contrived, could be a subject of a review and discussion in and of themselves, the music both serves the function of setting up the themes and keeping the listeners attention, which is no easy task. Fans of smooth jazz and R&B will thoroughly enjoy Wellman's latest, especially if they are fans of political commentary.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Recondita Armonia

Recondita Armonia

Pirouet Records
2016

buy
Dawn to Dusk

Dawn to Dusk

Self Produced
2016

buy
August Love Song

August Love Song

Red House
2016

buy
Frictions / Frictions Now

Frictions / Frictions...

NoBusiness Records
2015

buy
 

Lake End Production
0

buy

Related Articles

Read Fearless And Kind CD/LP/Track Review
Fearless And Kind
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Any Day Now CD/LP/Track Review
Any Day Now
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Adrift CD/LP/Track Review
Adrift
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Folkjazz from Finland CD/LP/Track Review
Folkjazz from Finland
by Anthony Shaw
Published: November 14, 2018
Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read "Pond Life" CD/LP/Track Review Pond Life
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "Never Stop II" CD/LP/Track Review Never Stop II
by Samuel Stroup
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "Tokyo 1981" CD/LP/Track Review Tokyo 1981
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "Journey Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Journey Moments
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 8, 2018
Read "Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)" CD/LP/Track Review Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Dreams And Other Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018