Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wake Up - Wake Up! (Wake Up, 2010)

Wake Up is an interesting collective band featuring featuring Daniel Carter on saxophone, Demian Richardson on trumpet, David Moss on electric bass and Federico Ughi on drums. According to their web site, they are trying to wake up the jazz scene, and with this album they are certainly off to a good start. There's an exciting brashness to this album, mixing free jazz with touches of funk for an interesting and unusual feel. The album is structured in a way that mixes several short one to three minute tracks amongst a few longer ones giving the music a punk feel that is quite invigorating. Blasting on a riff for a short period of time, having their say and moving on allows the band to keep the music moving at a feverish pace. Ripples of funk and R&B pervade the music, and the electric bass of David Moss is a perfect vehicle for this. Fuzzed out at times and deeply grooving and free at others, tracks like "Disco Days" and "Super Chicken" pulse with an impish humor and thorough commitment to pushing the boundaries of the music. "Love Before the Sacred Dawn" mines a super tight bass and drum pocket with echo altered trumpet and probing saxophone to excellent effect, creating a wild and wholly sound that is completely their own. It's not all on all on the wild side, although much of the music is at a fest pace. "Laid Back" takes things at a sultry medium tempo, like waves of heat rippling up from the pavement on a scorching summer's day. "Resisting Between the Cracks" is a ballad featuring some subtle Miles Davis like trumpet and piano. It almost seems out of place, considering the rest of the album, but the song is very well played and shows that this band is far from a one-trick pony. This album was a very exciting and compelling disc to listen to, reminding me at times of some of the great funky free music that has come out of the Philadelphia area, but the likes of Byard Lancaster. But this is an NYC band through and through, drawing their energy from the city and the musicians that enliven it. Hopefully their mission to kick start the jazz scene and get people involved in all of the excellent music available will be a successful one. Wake Up! -

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