Album: Future Shock
Artist: Michael Whalen
Jazz fusion meets progressive rock and electronica on Michael Whalen’s new release Future Shock. Comprised of all original compositions arranged and written by Whalen, the recording sizzles, sambas, and plumes, continuously delighting listeners.
The Latin facets in Bob Magnuson’s flute and shehnai coruscate gracefully across “La Hermosa Noche” while laced in Whalen’s spangled synth effects, filament by a samba rhythm played by bassist Tony Levin and drummer Simon Phillips. The toasty warm atmosphere continues with Magnuson’s silky saxophone twirls cruising along “Lights of Home,” projecting a vibe reminiscent of Kenny G’s sensual furls, as Whalen’s glittering synths swaddle the melody in beads of starlight. Displaying a flare for creating romantic moods, Whalen’s arrangement for “Morning Song” shines with a love story luster.
“Memories of You,’ once again features Magnuson’s frolicking saxophone, imprinting whimsical patterns and injecting an upbeat feel into the melody. The Bahama-imbue ambience of “Miracle Mile” is showered in Latin shimmies by the rhythm section coupled with Magnuson’s spicy saxophone chirps, presenting a melody that’s reminiscent of the theme song for the flix Tequila Sunrise. The recording plunges into the realm of electronica with matrix-like grids modulated by Whalen’s synths as Magnuson’s saxophone makes scintillating incisions in the close of “Poly Jam.”
It’s not a far stretch of the imagination to envision each of Whalen’s melodies being prime material for movie soundtracks. He is a two-time Emmy® Award winning composer, who has worked in advertising, television, film and video games for over 30 years. His integration of jazz fusion with mainstream pop style variants enlightens audiences about the possibilities of crossbreeding genres to make feel-good melodies.
Michael Whalen – keyboards, synthesizers, electronic percussion & programming
Simon Phillips – drums & additional percussion
Bob Magnuson – saxophones, flute and shehnai
Tony Levin – electric & upright basses, Chapman stick