Brahka Waldman-Wisdomatic_First Impressions

wisdomatic cover art

My first impression on this album was “This album is just not very good.”  Waldman makes an attempt at groovy, back-beat jazz and winds up with a bunch of poorly constructed, sole-less hip hop beats.  The production doesn’t pack any punch.  The band seems comfortable not taking any risks.  The final product just pleasantly accompanies one’s ear without challenging it at all.

The melodies are so boringly constructed.  Essentially, Waldman takes a bunch of clunky motivic ideas and throws in a sequence every once in a while.  When combined with the weakly contrived hip hop beats, these awkward melodies and the solos from each musician never truly dig in.  The songs all drone on a bit longer than necessary ending with a whimpering final blow.  Texturally the album has nothing to offer.  The group all plays their instruments somewhat well in the traditional sense but there’s nothing beyond that.  It just feels like stagnation.

At this point in my life I really don’t listen to much jazz that isn’t avant-garde with a focus on improvisation.  Perhaps my tastes have been skewed a bit by this, however, I still believe that I can spot a good groove from a bad one and I really just didn’t get anything from this album.  I feel like it’s a small collection of groove tunes that everyone played in 8th grade when they were getting introduced to the genre.

I may give it another shot tomorrow.



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