Granted I do not keep to a 100% jazz format here. New sounds, new ideas, and most importantly new ways of presenting improvised music intrigue me the most. My new motto is "Pushing musical boundaries and musical buttons..."
I just received this little ditty from Waka Jawaka which is billed as 60's surf music meets hard rock. I'm not getting the hard rock vibe at all but I am getting a real deal guitarist in Alan Almarez.
And yes, the name combined with the description of the music might lead one to think this could be the ultimate summer bar band. Try again...These folks are serious, combining both the Island vibe with So. Cal. surf music with an incredibly unique hybrid of a technical guitarist with improvisational chops that are the off the charts yet readily accessible. Surf music, perhaps a little Mexican low rider vibe mixed up with a hard fusion edge. No label accurately fits thus making Waka Jawaka a critics worst nightmare. I love that...
My only real critical remark would be that the sound could be developed a little further and perhaps layered with more percussion but guitarist Alan Almarez does a more than admirable job of carrying the sonic load with bassist Rodrigo Valentin and drummer Mary Jo giving that perfect air of authenticity to the sound they seem to be striving for. If the band continues to develop and push past and deepen their current sound then the sky could be the limit be it commercials, a record deal, or some killer club dates. A little "one-note" for now but I believe they will work past this soon enough. I dig em!
I would certainly check out their face book page and while it is not customary for me to "rate" and act that may be more outside the straight ahead real of modern jazz, Waka Jawaka gets a 5 for their name and a 4 for the music so they walk away with a 4.5. Incredibly entertaining. Technically gifted and artistically proficient they are tons of fun! Check em out!
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