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

Brian Smith: Taupo (Manu/Ode)

Brian Smith: Taupo (Manu/Ode)

Most New Zealand jazz is like the Kiwi: endangered, pokes around in the dark away from public gaze and doesn't take flight. This year however is shaping up to be a good one: albums by... > Read more

LENNIE TRISTANO REMEMBERED: Jazz piano in a classical manner

LENNIE TRISTANO REMEMBERED: Jazz piano in a classical manner

Strange coincidences can be unnerving. They make you wonder if there isn’t a guiding hand behind the randomness of life. In late 2003 while unearthing some old vinyl I turned up an album I... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Lee Perry and the Upsetters: High Plains Drifter (Pressure Sounds)

Lee Perry and the Upsetters: High Plains Drifter (Pressure Sounds)

This 20 track collection of Jamaican singles picked up from 1968 to '75 catches producer Lee "Scratch" Perry at an especially productive and innovative period. And, with his Upsetters... > Read more

Silk and Bamboo Ensemble: Traditional Chinese Music (Arc)

Silk and Bamboo Ensemble: Traditional Chinese Music (Arc)

We have been down this seductive and often restful path a few times with the Silk String Quartet, the solo album by pipa/qin player Cheng Yu and the Taoist Music Orchestra of Shanghai -- but the... > Read more