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Matthew Ruddick

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Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Saturday, 26 February 2022 22:01

Immanuel Wilkins - The 7th Hand

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Is Immanuel Wilkins the new Blue Note genius, a prodigy or both?

The musical seed has been planted and flourished into structured jazz sonatas. This is a colossal release from the palatial house of jazz - Blue Note Records. Blue Note may have just discovered its latest member to the Blue Note All-Stars, and I would not be surprised to see Immanuel Wilkins accompany current giants of jazz, including Wayne Shorter and Robert Glasper. 

This album follows Immanuel's 2020 debut album, Omega.

The 7th Hand shipped on 3rd February 2022 and features 7 contemporary and explosive movements. The album is a modern classical experience.  

Once you participate and commit to the 7th Hand, prepare to experience the ethereal phenomena. The compositions are dynamic yet calming, complex yet simple, classic yet contemporary. 

This is a big production, where every nuance, pitch and rhythm deliver instrumental balance. The album features all the familiar musical arrangements you expect  - from jazz standards to sombre moods, except for Lift; this is a 'Roland Kirk' roller-coaster ride. 

The video for the first and second movements, Emanation/Don't Break, is directed by masterful filmmaker Cauleen Smith, best known for her experimental works that address the African-American identity. The percussive vibes are buzzing with happiness, and the melodic sound of the sax is pure positive energy. The sound of the Farafina Kan Percussion Ensemble brings the African spiritual movements to life. My favourite tracks of the album for sure.

Take a watch and listen here to the Emanation/Don't Break (Official Video) 

Witness is an excellent song with a compelling and smooth performance. The melody is sombre, and thought-provoking as the flute accompanies six distinguishable and hypnotic notes. Witness is a simple composition and a genius stroke.

This album is so intense; Immanuel has a recognisable tone. 

Take a bow, Immanuel.

 

Credits:

Immanuel Wilkins - Saxophone

Micah Thomas - Piano

Daryl Johns - Bass

Kweku Sumbry - Drums

Farafina Kan Percussion Ensemble

 

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