Friday, August 29, 2014

Jeremy Wilms, Diamond People

After various stints with Butch Morris, Chico Hamilton and as the guitarist for the Broadway musical Fela!, Jeremy Wilms comes front and center with his first album, Diamond People (self-released). It's a wide-ranging jazz offering with Wilms the composer and the guitarist getting equal attention.

A largish band carries the music, including Tomas Fujiwara and Greg Gonzalez. There are good players here and they get a hearing. The main emphasis is on Jeremy's pieces, which range from straightforward swinging items with the spice of the modern, some outside electric rockers, some Afro-centric folkish numbers, and everything more-or-less in between.

In fact there is so much diversity in this music that one doesn't know what's next. That is not a bad thing, surely. In the end though one can start feeling overwhelmed with a kind of stylistic overload. That is only to say that it takes a number of listens before it all becomes clear, of course.

Similarly Jeremy's guitar work ranges from straight post-bop to the metallic fringes. I might have wished for a bit more of the latter because I like the way he has with it, but this is all about diversity. He is most definitely a good player well worth hearing. Diamond People covers so many bases that in the end you get how all-encompassing he is as writer and player. A promising musical voice can be heard at length. Take a listen!

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