Boomkat Product Review:
The London-based jazz experimenters pay lovely tribute to Arthur Russell’s timeless, far reaching styles
“The second Hello Skinny album, Watermelon Sun conjures images of the languorous, dreamy escapism its title suggests. Channelling influences including UK jazz, New Jersey house and Chicago footwork, it’s the melodies – played on trombone, tenor sax and the keys – which are the bright-shining, consistent thread throughout. The solo project of esteemed drummer Tom Skinner (whose other recent projects include Sons of Kemet and Owiny Sigoma Band), the album features influential trombone player and composer Peter Zummo (a friend and collaborator of Arthur Russell, who’s recently released new material on Glasgow’s Optimo label).
Over the past thirty years, dance music has splintered off into a myriad web of different styles and tribes. But in the beginning, things were different: starting with New York’s late ‘70s disco boom, the city’s fertile club scene co-mingled hip-hop, R&B, punk and the avant-garde. For Hello Skinny, that open-minded attitude serves as inspiration for Watermelon Sun. Recorded in free-form, improvised live sessions, it sees that broad-minded club lineage channelled through London’s genre-blurring, jazz-influenced vanguard.”