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

Broadbent, Gibson, Smith: Together Again (Ode)

Broadbent, Gibson, Smith: Together Again (Ode)

The title of this album might better be Together Again . . . At Last because it has been far too long since LA-based pianist/composer Alan Broadbent and bassist Putter Smith recorded with Auckland... > Read more

PATTI AUSTIN INTERVIEWED (2012): Along came Jones . . . and Jacko

PATTI AUSTIN INTERVIEWED (2012): Along came Jones . . . and Jacko

Patti Austin laughs frequently, sounds a world removed from her diva-like peers, makes references to Snoop Dogg and Rod Stewart, and admits her career – now more than five decades long and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Jeff Buckley; Mystery White Boy (Sony)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Jeff Buckley; Mystery White Boy (Sony)

Jeff Buckley -- who died in '97 -- didn't have much time to make an impression, but the scant recorded evidence in his lifetime was enormously impressive. And of course posthumous releases like the... > Read more

Jethro Tull, Al Stewart: Hanging on the telephone.

Jethro Tull, Al Stewart: Hanging on the telephone.

Rock journalists in this country need little reminding that we live a long way from the action. But the reminders come every time a record company or promoter says that deathless phrase,... > Read more