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...

3

Chip Wickham: Shamal Wind

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
British flautist and saxophonist Chip Wickham is a graduate of the fertile 1990s modal-jazz scene in the northern city of Manchester. It has produced some stellar talents, amongst whom saxophonist Nat Birchall and trumpeter Matthew Halsall shine most prominently. But while Birchall and Halsall, who guests on one track on Shamal Wind, have each notched up a decent number of releases under their own names—some of them on Halsall's home town-focused Gondwana label—Shamal Wind is only Wickham's second album as leader. It follows La Sombra, released by Spanish label LoveMonk in 2017, some 25 years after Wickham began his career as a professional musician. Quite why it took Wickham so long to make his debut is a mystery, but it may have something to do with his decision to leave Britain for Spain in the early 2010s. It certainly has nothing to do with his talent, which is prodigious both as a player and a composer.

The good news, anyway, is that Wickham is making up for lost time. Like the earlier album, Shamal Wind is a blinder, a mellifluous and muscular mix of meditative spiritual jazz ("Shamal Wind," "The Mirage"), fired-up soul jazz ("Snake Eyes," "Barrio 71," "Rebel No.23") and serpentine hard-bop ("Soho Strut"). It is all delightfully retro and sounds, in the best way, like it might have been recorded anytime between the late 1960s and the late 2010s.

Wickham's band includes three players from La Sombre—double bassist David Salvador, drummer Antonio Alvarez Pax and pianist Gabri Casanova (who is heard only on the closing track, where he plays Wurlitzer electric piano). On the first album, Pax occasionally doubled on vibraphone, but on Shamal Wind fulltime vibraphonist Ton Risco joins the lineup. He makes a perfect frontline partner for Wickham, who is mostly heard on flute and alto flute. Casanova's place at the acoustic piano is taken by Phil Wilkinson, and David El Indio joins the band on hand drums and percussion.

It is a groovalicious line-up and Shamal Wind is an unpretentious and well-crafted feel-good album. Having recently recovered from a life-threatening illness, Wickham has vowed to make five albums in as many years. Roll on 2019 and the next one.

Track Listing: Shamal Wind; Snake Eyes; Soho Strut; The Mirage; Barrio 71; Rebel No. 23.

Personnel: Chip Wickham: flute, alto flute, baritone saxophone; Ton Risco: vibraphone; Phil Wilkinson: piano; David Salvador: double bass; Antonio Alvarez Pax: drums; David El Indio: congas, bongos, bell and percussion; Matthew Halsall: trumpet (4); Gabri Casanova: Wurlitzer piano (6).

Title: Shamal Wind | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: LoveMonk Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Shamal Wind

Shamal Wind

LoveMonk Records
2018

buy
La Sombra

La Sombra

LoveMonk Records
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Inner Core CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Core
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Dirigo Rataplan II CD/LP/Track Review
Dirigo Rataplan II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 21, 2018
Read The Window CD/LP/Track Review
The Window
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "Vortex" CD/LP/Track Review Vortex
by John Kelman
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Bright Force" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Body" CD/LP/Track Review Body
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "Weather Walker" CD/LP/Track Review Weather Walker
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 11, 2018
Read "Back to the Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Back to the Sunset
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 6, 2018
Read "Volume 5" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 5
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 14, 2017