Jim Wellman, founding member of the London based acid punk and jazz band Brand New Heavies has come out with his new album Dawn To Dusk, which is similar in style to that of his former band. While the record features catchy acid jazz tunes that fans of modern jazz will grab onto, what makes the record the most interesting is the inclusion of sound bites discussing different parts of the human brain and how it’s become restricted by various forms of government, making the record a concept album. Wellman includes the following in his biography about the record: “the core of the work is the understanding that Man lives in a world of amazing technological development, but is still encumbered with medieval forms of government by representatives who serve mainly the interests of the elite.”
The records opening song “Lucy” doesn’t feature any sound bites discussing the above ideas, but instead it introduces its musical direction, something that feels breezy and carefree, and while the album certainly wants to get certain feelings and emotions across, Wellman also wants to make sure his audience isn’t bored with the records presentation when it comes to what they hear.
“Funky Loop” is a short and bouncy track that is an instrumental song that could serve as background music, if it didn’t include a phone ringing and a discussion of a possible short circuit in humanity. Regardless, this makes “Funky Loop” an interesting tune to listen to, as the conversation takes up the majority of the song, with the music now functioning entirely as background music. With this thought in mind, we do wonder where Wellman got the inspiration to make a concept album of this kind.
“Let The People Rule Ya” is a song which includes different percussion instruments, synths, and jittering guitars and horns. As Wellman lets the instruments take over, he and female vocalist Judy La Rose keep up a repetitive vocal line that doesn’t do much for the song, which would have worked out well as an instrumental piece as its vivacious sound and style certainly trump the lyrics, which also leaves much to be desired.
For newcomers to acid jazz, Jim Wellman and his team of skilled musicians have crafted an album that is a well rounded introduction to the more modern aspects of jazz that we hear today. The album is incredibly well done, and despite its unique edge in story-telling, most people won’t be hung up by the direction and even if do become stuck on this aspect, the music is still an enjoyable experience.
Listen to a selection from the album titled “Probably Good” below.