Philip Wigfall -
followed by nurturing influences were the guiding vehicle for
saxophonist Philip Wigfall to apprehend his life long of producing and
recording his debut record titled “Cosmic Soul” 2000. According to
Philip’s bio his music is described as being “A
mixture of 80's Miles Davis, Weather Report, and traditional jazz with
a side order of R&B Hip Hop for extra flavor. These elements
combined create a soundscape that takes the listener on an electric,
funk-driven, metaphoric journey”… One of Philip’s most
valued influences occurred in 1985 after hearing saxophonist Kenny
Garrett for the first time at the Village Vanguard in New York.
Intrigued by Garrett’s performance and diversity Philip begin to
realize the importance of what Kenny was saying musically, therefore
encouraging Wigfall to become more “flexible and open-minded as a
players: Philip Wigfall plays alto, and soprano saxophones, keyboards,
drum and percussion programming. Michael Winslow and Gregg Neer
trumpet, Darren Kramer trombone, Stepfan Karlson piano, Jerome Lopez
& Brian Monroney guitars, Myriam Santucci cello, Rochon
Westmoreland plays bass, Miguel Alvarado percussion, Eddie Garcia
drums DJ Rob additional programming.
a first glance the opener “Sextant”, immediately reminded me of
Herbie Hancock in theory. Once I heard “Sextant” the first note
revealed that I no longer agree with my original assessment however,
Philip’s opener reflects a prelude too a quite storm, a theme song
or a “Mariners Tool” as Philip suggests. Ironically, the second
track leads you into another dimension compositionally with
powerful piece envelopes you immediately with intoxicating rhythms and
crisp horns by Wigfall, Winslow, Neer and Kramer, thumping bass licks
in the higher octave by Rochon Westmoreland followed by the piano
wizardry of Stefan Karlson as he invades “Kinetic” with the
ultimate underlying melody making this track memorable.
Mass” drops in at the third slot with another funky groove filled
masterpiece with devastating interplay by some the funkiest players in
Las Vegas or anywhere for that matter. Philip describes the title
“as the greatest and deadliest scientific discovery in human
history, the atomic bomb”. The
intensity of this composition provides a whirlwind like effect that
draws from within the core of this musical concept makes, “Critical
Mass” down right breathtaking funk that moves you into the next
fashionable compositional skills dressed in funkiest form continue to
resonate this sequence of events with a track called “Spherical”.
Wigfall’s admirable musical stylings and grooves elevates without
blunder championed by this talented cast of incredible musicians
assuring us that enforcing the rule of the groove has its dividends.
of the Alchemist” is a tune decided to Wayne Shorter’s wife and
niece in remembrance of their passing after the fall of TWA Flight
800. This dedication truly exemplifies Philip’s love and passion for
Shorter the musician and spiritual friend.
the sixth comes the title cut “Cosmic Soul”, this mid-tempo number
that resembles Philip’s “fascination with astronomy”, the muted
trumpet rumbles focused tonality at it’s best by Winslow, as Philip
probing sax explores the ecstasy of the renown spirit of the groove
that makes the titled track well worth a revisit.
Gravity” is a transitional tune on the recording; a prelude that
doesn’t shy away from the hipness of Wigfall’s atoning attributes
as a saxophonist (Philip describes it as an interlude that ties two
out of the woodshed, Philip drops another chart stopper with “The
Lotus Eaters”. This contagious hip-hop groove accented by Middle
Eastern and Indian flavored jewel laced with turbo charged bass
slapping licks by Westmoreland and killer circular saxophone exploits
by Wigfall makes this a pleasurable masterpiece to embrace.
From Grace” is a ballad. Philip charms you with haunting melodies,
and mind-blowing solos executing without flaw anointing him as the
newly crown prince of contemporary jazz alto horn.
the tenth spot we have “Lost”, according too Wigfall “Lost
symbolizes the separation between God and man. Philip says that he
composed the tune in a way that makes the saxophone part sound
isolated and calling out for help”. The surreal beauty of “Lost”
speaks with immeasurable atoning quality leaving you in awe longing
Horizon” is the final selection on ‘Cosmic Soul’, comprised by
Wigfall. Professor Stephen Hawkins inspired this track, Philip
indicates that, “the title itself symbolizes entry into the
unknown”. Event Horizon is yet another powerful composition that
exhibits exhausting tonality and intriguing interplay by Wigfall and
his bandmates “Cosmic Soul” derives from a cauldron of riveting
compositions delivered by Philip Wigfall.
“Cosmic Soul” is bona fide non-cosmetic jazz at it’s very best,
complimented by an array of unfaultable influences making this record
a must for serious contemporary jazz lovers everywhere!
Thanks to my friend in jazz from Las Vegas for singing praises
about this fabulous musician named Philip Wigfall, therefore your love
for jazz is very much appreciated. What’s most appealing about
Philip Wigfall? His compositions and production skills are creative,
aggressive and explorer of meaningful contemporary jazz without
vocals, preservatives or additives makes his music a winner. There’s
absolutely nothing commercial about “Cosmic Soul”, Philip Wigfall
is indeed true too the music and proving naysayers wrong every step of