Chip Wickham’s Blue to Red levitates you into the heart of a heavenly nebula of spiritual jazz that’ll leave you floating for the rest of the day.
Wickham, a Brightonian saxophonist and flautist who’s currently based in Madrid, was inspired to use the hope and liveliness in his music to help listeners appreciate and care for the world around them before our blue home fades into the red nothingness of Mars.
That theme does certainly come across, as all of the songs on this record are rich with a love of being alive. It’s truly difficult to listen to them without being filled with that same love, and wanting to protect all life around you.
Musically, the album is informed by a whole plethora of different styles and sounds. Throughout the six transcendent tracks, you can hear congas thump out Latin rhythms while beatific flutes flutter and zoom around funky strides on the Rhodes, as ethereal harp and strings evoke strong Alice Coltrane vibes.
The mood throughout the entire record is very mellow. Even the faster, hard-driving songs, like the Krautrock-fusion of “Double Cross” (which is reminiscent of Embryo or the Earwax LP by Association), have a chill quality to them. Yet it’s the tracks with the slow, swaying rhythms that really set the tone for the album, like the sunny “Mighty Yusef,” which is as peaceful as a summer night on an empty beach.
It’s this specific tone that instills that gratitude for being alive and conscious that I mentioned before. It makes you want to spread positivity to others, and make changes in your environment to ensure that this same positivity can continue for future generations, too. Maybe, if enough people hear Blue to Red, then perhaps Chip Wickham’s wish will come true, and we’ll avoid turning this lush planet into a lifeless Martian-like husk. Only time will tell. . .
This record drops tomorrow, so grab your copy of it now right here.
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