Yes Sunday Jammers. What’s good with you? Hope it's shiny and happy wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Hope you’ve been fully immersed in the 1010 Benja SL groove and it’s brought loveliness to your week. It’s the final part in this miniseries, a bit sad to be leaving but excited about the next segment coming up.
So, this is the end, the end of the mini spotlight tour featuring 1010 Benja SL and this last offering is a release from 2020 and it’s a masterpiece. It’s got musicality, genre-bending melodies and heavenly harmonies. It’s part love song, part experimental rolling bootleg. On ‘Woodrow’ you’ll find 1010 in his usual mode, bending and blending genres, here it’s soul, jazz and urban, effortlessly and beautifully mixed. What stands out for me on this track is the vocal experimentation and sampling, it's an ode to the art of scatting and vocal adlibbing, producing something textured and layered and it’s not just a technical device, it’s reflected in the lyrical journey too. Splicing love song with musical wandering leading into an emotional rise and fall woven deeply into the fabric of the tune adding even more richness to the arrangement, it's such an infectious piece that invites you to tap into your inner jazz scatter and let them out. I love how 1010 reminds us that the voice is an instrument in itself and can do more than run on and on, just sublime.
This track crosses through jazz, modern pop urban, hip hop, it paraphrases some modern urban classics mixed in with some original ad libbing. 1010’s turn into jazz - done his way - shows off not only his musical superiority but vocal range – if you don’t know that 1010 can sing by now then shame on you, take yourself back a couple of weeks and start your homework again. He has range, soul, heart and a mind to play. On this track he plays with breath control, moves to the lower end of his range and takes on the vocal sample, which heightens the sense of urgency but never takes away from the fullness of the track. Again, he manages to find a middle ground between experimental and melody – neither gives way to the other. I love the modern interpretation of scatting, it made my fingers snap while leaning back into the sexy sultry deep notations. The word pastiche seems appropriate here but it's by no means a directionless mish mash. There is purpose and poise, leaving plenty of room to wrap your body around and wile out. Warning: it will have you jazz tapping and air scatting – tested it out myself in a well-known supermarket.
‘Woodrow’ showcases the work of an artist with incredible depth, a fully rounded musical being who could easily stand out as a pianist, vocalist, guitarist or whatever else he chooses. The talent is real, so, so deep. I love the musical crisscrossing, the clear passion for his craft and his ability to innovate while referencing his own musical loves. I hope he has brought Magic beans to your playlist. Enjoy Sunday Jammers and much Loves.