By Damien Reid
The influence of jazz is positively felt throughout the music biz. Our artists today create spectacular works of art that are equally inspiring and creative. Wolkenpark’s seven-piece album “Wizard Wisdom” definitely strikes a groove with its instrumental diversity. Through the inclusion of delightful basslines and a soothing trumpet at the helm, the musicians give us a breathtaking performance worth hearing on repeat.
Initiating the album with “Lazy Day” felt like a fresh start. The ensemble brings together a gripping tempo where a funky bass takes charge, and side-by-side a drummer’s dexterity is displayed. Aside from that, an enchanting trumpet keeps us hooked on its melody. The album’s title track is simply stunning. It’s a jaw-dropping combination of free jazz, and quite surprisingly hip hop! I was completely taken aback when the rap sections began and equally enticed when a fire bassline was in effect. The artists’ choice of song titles lived up to its essence, ‘cause there was some musical wizardry taking place I’ll tell you that much.
“Move on for Real” is jazz drumming at its peak. There’s so much work going on in this piece that will absolutely dazzle an audience. Kinda wish I saw the live performance! Especially the ending solos where the drummer goes full beast mode. With that being said, we move on to the album’s exit “Standing Back.” A beautiful melody that captures the expression of blues and slow jazz, befitting a strong conclusion.