Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sean Wayland Barrenjoey 2014

Quirky, eccentric and fun...you find yourself hitting repeat almost immediately!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Sean Wayland is why I write about music. Well, not Sean specifically but the independent artist that is out there funding his own work and hitting that creative sweet spot to find his or her own niche. Steely Dan was inadvertently tagged as a jazz/rock band thanks to some horns on classic tunes such as "My Old School." Sean Wayland comes a great deal closer with a release that has a rippling current of funk moving through some improvisational performances and lyrics that are straight out of the Donald Fagen school of huh? Plus...Wayland does sound a little like Fagen on some tunes but does so with a unique lyrical personality.
Surfer jazz? Sort of...This is vocal indie jazz with a board shorts flair and a dreads attitude. Nothing matters and what if it did..."What Do You Know" and "No Credit No Problem" sound like Becker and Fagen tunes left on the studio floor but the kicker is Sean puts his own spin on this music and while there may be some identifiable roots, the voice is pure Sean Wayland. The liner notes have Wayland referring to this as "corny fusion music" and here lies the charm of the release. There is an incredible raw and natural feel to this release that might give a first impression of demo tapes and I mean that in the best possible sense.
I almost dismissed Barrenjoey as a throw away but the strength of the music kept bringing me back, we have all bought releases like that right? Call it quirky, charming, eclectic or whatever lets you sleep it night but don't call it average...
Personnel: Mark Guiliana: Drums (4,9,13,14,15,16,17,18); Keith Carlock: Drums (1,2,3,5,6,7,8,10,11,15,19); Alex Hewetson: Bass (19); Jeff Hanley: Bass (1-19); Nate Wood: Guitars (1-19); Michael Valenue: Guitar (6,7,15); Luca Benedetti: Guitar (16); James Muller: Guitar Solo (10); Mike Rivett: Sax Solo (4); Jon Gordon: Sax Solo (6); Ben Wendel: Bassoon (7); Sean Wayland: Vocals, Keys, Composer; Virna Sanzone: Vocals (1,2,5)
Tracks: Barrenjoey; What Do You Know; Better Down South; Designer Babies; Slide On Thru; Forgotten; Grey Goo; Jazztafarian; Looking At You; Mind Over Mind; Mirrabooka; No Credit No Problem; Repeat Repeat; Scum Valley; Tricknology; Under D Tree Restaurant; When Will I See You Again; Will We Ever Meet; 1800 Funk