Wet Robots by Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFunk.
Bandcamp Link: Wet Robots
Fay Victor, voice; Joe Morris, guitar; Sam Newsome, Soprano Sax; Reggie Nicholson, drums.
I am most familiar with soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome and guitarist Joe Morris. Fay Victor has been on my radar for a while, but this is the first time I have really made the time to listen to an album of hers. Reggie Nicholson’s name I knew, having seen it and heard him on records from Henry Threadgill and Myra Melford, but this album is the most space I’ve heard him given to shine.
On paper, I suppose this ensemble is similar to Geometry of Caves, even sharing a guitarist in Morris, but in practice, the albums aren’t much alike, aside from being quartets with female vocalists and guitar.
Wet Robots is a much more swinging affair, primarily due to the stellar drumming of Mr Nicholson leading the charge, and partly due to Ms Victor’s very rhythmically led vocalizations.
There is a lot of material here, over 50 minutes of music.
When she uses words, Ms Victor tends to speak sing poetically. Of those tracks, “I Sing” is a favorite. On most of the other tracks, she vocalizes without words, growling here, laughing there, tearing it up and down the bebop scales elsewhere.
Mr Newsome is one of the greatest artists of the Soprano Saxophone. He coaxes bluesy licks with ease and with equal ease animal sounds or floating cloudlike non-pitches. It is always a joy to listen to him.
Mr Morris is less strict and strategic with his playing on Wet Robots than he was on Geometry of Caves. He lets his playing follow the blues-ey and sometimes funky leads of Newsome and Nicholson, while being as eclectic as ever in his choices of texture and rhythm.
Mr Nicholson is the heart of this group, the deft interplay between snare and bass drum are the heart of his drumming. Always on time and always swinging.
Certainly the most “Jazz” album I’ve covered on the blog in a while, Wet Robots is still an eclectic and enjoyable mix of moods and feelings.
Can I stop babbling about this album and go back to listening to it?
#FayVictor #JoeMorris #SamNewsome #ReggieNicholson #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack