At a time where music is like a salvation, Chip Wickham is treating us with a new splendid release. The immensely talented British flautist and saxophonist has announced the release of Blue to Red, arriving on May 8th through Lovemonk Records. Blue to Red is Wickham’s third album but he has been making music for the last few decades. Wickham initially emerged from Manchester’s modal-jazz scene in the late 90s, and has played and collaborated with the likes of Matthew Halsall, Nat Birchall, 808 State, Nightmares On Wax, Badly Drawn Boy, The New Mastersounds and Grand Central Records, to name but a few.
The upcoming Blue to Red is “his most absorbing and cosmically-charged offering to date”, as the press release describes. “Soaring flute melodies, lush harp arpeggios and glistening Rhodes keys interact across six journeying, spiritual jazz compositions, leaning on a rich palette of sounds beyond borders, space and time.”
The album’s title alludes to Earth’s possible Mars-like future. As Wickham puts it, “it’s a culture crisis rather than a climate crisis, one that can only be solved if we go right to the core of how we live as human beings”.
Blue to Red saw Wickham enlist a stellar cast of musicians from the UK’s thriving jazz scene, including Sons of Kemet and Mulatu Astatke drummer, Jon Scott, Simon Houghton aka Sneaky of Fingathing (double bass/cello), Nightmares On Wax affiliate Dan Goldman aka JD 73 (keys) and pioneering jazz harpist Amanda Whiting.
Ahead of the album’s release, we can already hear the celestially sublime title track. Here it is.