Lewis McCallum: Wake (RM)

 |   |  1 min read

Lewis McCallum: It's You
Lewis McCallum: Wake (RM)

Young Auckland saxophonist McCallum -- son of singer Malcolm -- adopts exactly the approach he should for someone his age: he comes out of the post hip-hop/clubland culture and so is entirely at home with programmed beats, soul-funk clubland styles, and has been working with those who share a similar sensibility.

(He was in Relaxomatic Project, has toured with Opensouls and Mark de Clive-Lowe, gets big ups from Nathan Haines, played on Hollie Smith's album and so on.)

The interesting thing about this upbeat but cool-mood album is not that McCallum seems to do most things himself (drum programmes, various saxes, clarinets, some vocals, flute, keyboards) but how he allows himself to almost guest on his own album: vocalists Cherie Mathieson, Tyra Hammond and rapper Bjorn Petersen from Opensouls, and Tama Waipara are all handed generous time in the spotlight.

It makes for an album which effectively marries the techno-substructures with warm human voices. And while this is very much of the now it does, like so much of "the now", look back to earlier times: here are snatches of 80s funk-fusion, old school soul with its positivity messages, and so on. McCallum also delivers some very classy arrangements (It's You reminds you he also spent time in the Queen City Big Band and in Rodger Fox bands) so he covers a lot of territory here.

The album title is telling: it could be read as a call to those who are asleep, but I suspect it works equally well as something of his he might leave others trailing in.

Very impressive all round. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

JAN GARBAREK, ECM SAXOPHONIST (2009): The times they have a-changed

JAN GARBAREK, ECM SAXOPHONIST (2009): The times they have a-changed

When my dad was boy he used to make his own crystal sets, small radio receivers so finely tuned if you breathed hard they’d go off the exotic overseas broadcast you were picking up.... > Read more

KEITH JARRETT'S THE MELODY AT NIGHT, WITH YOU (1999). Distilling genius

KEITH JARRETT'S THE MELODY AT NIGHT, WITH YOU (1999). Distilling genius

These days, Keith Jarrett gets as much space, sometimes more, in jazz encyclopaedias as the great saxophonist John Coltrane.  That irritates some people, it would be like Van Morrison... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Frank Sinatra: High Hopes (1960)

Frank Sinatra: High Hopes (1960)

When the handsome young John F Kennedy ran for the US presidency in 1960 (and beat Richard Nixon), there were planty of people weighing in with support. And one of his biggest fans was Frank... > Read more

Caveman: I'm Ready (1991)

Caveman: I'm Ready (1991)

Just as Run DMC found when they hooked themselves up with a metal guitar part from Aerosmith for Walk This Way (here) -- and King Kurlee confirmed when he got Blackmore Jnr in to play the classic... > Read more