FAME Review: Jeremy Wilms – Diamond People
Available from iTunes.
by Mark S. Tucker
If I first say Jeremy Wilms is a music polyglot, you’ll be better able to understand the mad nature of his eternally shifting debut CD, Diamond People. In a busy life, the gent composes classical and jazz music (both of which jump headlong into prog more than once); sings (but not here); plays guitar, bass, and keyboards (but restricts himself to guitar on this disc); produces electronica albums; writes film scores; spent time playing for Chico Hamilton; was inducted into futurist Butch Morris’ conduction ensemble; has worked with Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth; and about a billion other things. When things quiet down a bit, he jumps up and forms or joins rock and progrock bands. At some point, I’m reliably informed, he even intends to check out what all the noise about this ‘sleep’ stuff is…but not yet.
I’m going to tell you to start this monster release with the fourth cut, Blues for Kinah because 1) you’ll totally get what I just wrote about, 2) it’ll prepare you best for the rest of the CD, and 3) it re-evokes with unusual vigor what was happening in the 70s with fusion and crazy freak-outs. I’ve listened to that one song 10 times already over the last few days and am ready for the next spin. Diamond People, however, contrarily commences life with the mutant-cool Bourbon St. small big band track Disjunct that’ll in no way prepare you for some of what occurs afterwards. That’s why I recommend Kinah before all else: you’ll that much more appreciate the range of musicianship and thought.
Once Disjunct’s main theme is brought up and played around with, presaging later warp and woof, the band fades back into a swingy improv mode, breezy but chunky, solid. If you’re a film buff, then you can already guess what you’re in for with Alphaville, taken from Godard’s still enigmatic sci-fi film of the same name. Wilm’s own composition, it starts out as though a slice from Nick Roeg’s Walkabout: spare, a ditty with four players, but abstract. There’s plenty going on but also a methedrine airiness to it: tight and open simultaneously, with tons of room for long solo spots in the 10 minute cut. Think Soft Machine with Centipede with Simak Dialog and that sort of thing. Wilm doesn’t take solos as often as I’d like, while giving plenty of space to everyone else, but when he cuts up, he cuts up seriously old school. Mmm-mm-good!
Track List: Disjunct; Clone Village; Answers; Blues for Kinah; Broken Things; Retraction; Alphaville; Hymn
No songwriting credits given (promo copy).