His music combines jazz, blues, soul, funk, rock, gospel and a lovely South African vocal style that reaches around the world. At times, however, it’s way too much. Take a lyrical vocal melody, add tasteful instrumental accompaniment, and you have a formula that works in any environment. However, when you start adding too many sounds at once it gets cluttered. Spoken word, rap, a driving techno-dance drum beat and a powerful electric bass line can add up to overkill when they’re all in that bag together.
D’WYS (pronounced Dee-Wise, with the accent on both syllables), plays the Hammond B3 organ and writes the music for his ensembles. From The Netherlands, the organist has toured with Candy Dulfer and has appeared at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Extensive information and a touring schedule may be found at http://home.worldonline.nl/~dwys .
"Cookin’ for Jimmy" is D’WYS’s tribute to Jimmy Smith. He’s captured all the excitement you’d expect from a master organist and added a few contemporary sounds. Pared down to allow the individual instrumental voices some freedom, D’WYS’s ensemble proves exciting with a Hammond B3 lead, tasteful guitar interlude and supporting congas. The dramatic pop ballad "Q" is a nod to Quincy Jones. The tune combines funk with gospel as singers Simone Roerade and Erwin van Motman work out of pure octave harmony. D’WYS delivers the blues on "Spread the Word," as he takes the reins and transforms the music to a traditional gospel style with choir. As he did on "Cookin’ for Jimmy," the leader trims his ensemble on "African Organtasy" so that lead vocalist Roerade can offer a lovely South African ballad with a wild B3 interlude. "Missing You" is another lovely ballad that features singer Erwin van Motman in a romantic, yet forceful arrangement. D’WYS has a saucy jazz organ interlude on the gospel number "The Promised Land," a gospel number with lead singer Adriana Romijn and choir. This one also includes a burning electric guitar solo from Martin Bakker. Both D’WYS and Bakker have thier best outings on the pop/rock techno-dance number "Solong Seems So Wrong." It fits. Contemporay sounds, while at times cluttered and competing, add a certain spice to the organist’s program. What’s important is that it’s good music.