REVIEWS August 2011
Paul Carmichael - Wax Is Melting 4/3
O's Notes: Bassist Paul Carmichael puts together a wide variety of contemporary jazz tunes picking up elements of Latin, funk and R&B. They start with "The Destination" a funky showcase for Carmichael before mellowing a bit on "Sea Below". Vanessa Hayes ads vocals to a few tracks notably "Wake Up - Spring Is Here". We also enjoyed "Break Point", "Go Go" and "Liberation Suite". Carmichael does a fine job here making this CD worth repeated listening.
- D. Oscar Groomes www.OsPlaceJazz.com
REVIEWS May 2011
Jazz bassist Paul Carmichael's musical CV goes back to 1975. His work has been incredibly varied. A mainstay of the London jazz scene, he's also worked with artists as diverse as Lulu, Charles Azanvour and Manu Dibango. He's played in the orchestras of countless West End shows and even helped with the music on the toddlers' TV show 'Playaway'. Jazz, though, has never been far away and on this new 9 tracker he shows his depth of knowledge of the scene to present a set that's a varied as contemporary tastes demand.
Proceedings open with a blistering jazz-funk workout, 'The Destination'. It's big and brassy with a tremendous alto solo from Nigel Hitchcock. Underpinning it all is the rock steady bass of Carmichael. The mood changes dramatically as the next three tracks offer a suite based on the Icarus legend. The piano-led 'Contemplation' which opens the suite is particularly strong... the title saying it all. Different again is the Latin romp of 'Liberatation Salsa'. Hugely percussive, it's another brass heavy piece held together by the steadiest of bass lines. Carmichael's bass is more loping on the almost dubby 'Jazz In The Desert'. It's a real pot pourri of sounds and features eerie choral vocals from Graciela Rodriguez.
The album also boasts a couple of "proper" vocals and on both 'Wake Up Spring Is Here' and 'Go Go' label mate, Vanessa Haynes is on tremendous form. The former , which reminds me a little of the best of Carmen Lundy, has a lovely summery feel to it while the latter is a driving soul dancer that includes a French language rap from Svenz which takes it into Guru/MC Solaar territory.
Maybe you can see now what I meant by "varied" at the top. That said, though, 'Wax Is Melting' doesn't sound like a disparate set. It's given a unity by Carmichael's strong leadership throughout. His bass lines are clear and strong but they don't dominate. He leaves plenty of space for his fellow players to shine notably the aforementioned Hitchcock and piano man Rick Laughlin. You can learn more about this album
- Bill Buckley, www.soulandjazzandfunk.com
REVIEWS April 2011
"Some desert reggae, salsa, jazz-fusion and inventive and tasteful modern jazz are all part of a good day’s work on bassist’s Paul Carmichael’s latest album, Wax is Melting. The bass player lays down an impressive array of lines, including an especially unexpected funk, that propels the pieces to their just conclusions. I highly recommend.
Walter Kolosky, author of Follow Your Heart- John McLaughlin song by song."
The mixes sound great. I enjoyed listening and discovering you through your music.… the album took me on a journey of varied textures, turns, moods and layers.
Thanks for letting me be the first to listen. I look for ward to hearing these live!
-comment from Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick (Incognito)
Paul Carmichael Wax is Melting Change of Weather CHOW CD003
Bassist Paul Carmichael has been a fixture on the jazz fusion scene since the late 1970s, collaborating with the likes of Ian Carr (Nucleus), Barbara Thompson (Paraphernalia) and Allan Holdsworth, and this album touches all the genre's contemporary musical bases, from basic funk to so-called 'world music' influences. It begins with an irresistibly uplifting piece of jazz-funk, appropriately entitled 'The Destination', on which Carmichael's trademark rock-solid electric bass drives a tight but rumbustious band through a rousing theme, embellished by a typically gusty alto solo from one of the album's many stellar guests, Nigel Hitchcock. Thereafter, a suite inspired by the Icarus myth composed of the self-explanatory pieces 'Contemplation', 'Sea Below' and 'Wax is Melting' is followed by a lively, varied programme of material embracing everything from French-language rap (performed by Svenz on 'Go Go') to peppy latin rhythms ('Liberation Salsa') and one of the highlights of the album a haunting melange of dub, jazz and what Carmichael refers to as singer Graciela Rodriguez's 'Arabic and Spanish influences', entitled 'Jazz in the Desert'. The album as a whole is graced by powerful solos from the likes of guitarist Carl Orr, trombonist Trevor Mires and trumpeter Martin Shaw, and by the strong, flexible vocals of longtime associate, Vanessa Haynes, but overall, it is the utterly dependable versatility and virtuosity of Carmichael himself, playing all manner of basses from fretless to acoustic, which draws the ear. The album is to be launched on 23 May at the 606 Club.
- Chris Parker, LondonJazz.blogspot.com, My 2011
Heres a YouTube link put up by Rob Hughes (playing Sax and Flute)/ Apart from a strong feature on music stands, it shows rob, Trevor Mires (Tbn) Jeff Scantlebury (Percussion) Pete Adams (Keys, off screen) Francesco Mendolia (Drums) and myself.
youtube video of hideaway April 2011