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Recorded in Madrid in July 2017, Shamal Wind combines Chip Wickham's globetrotting, spiritual jazz expeditions with hard-won schoolings in the funk. Following his critically acclaimed 2017 debut, La Sombra, the record draws on spiritual jazz influences like Yusef Lateef and Sahib Shihab, and rests on Chip's many-sided experience as a musician, spanning left-field beat experiments to hard-hitting funk heavyweights.
After the Latin and flamenco whispers on La Sombra, Shamal Wind adds some Arab-influence percussion to the mix, most notably on the title track. Elsewhere, 'Barrio 71' sees him nodding to Shihab: high energy, lyrical and absorbing, with sax and the vibraphone taking the lead. 'Snake Eyes' taps into the meditative exaltations of modal jazz, while 'Soho Strut' nods to the jazz fusion, funk-influenced side of Chip's playing.
Like the Persian Gulf winds referenced in the album title, which often mark the shift to a new season, this album signals a new chapter for Chip, opening up a newfound energy and inclusiveness in his music, and further expanding on what he achieved in the past year. "Shamal Wind" is a heavy record, built on strong foundations.