Artist: Joshua Wheatley
Genre(s): Jazz, Gospel, Contemporary RnB
Joshua Wheatley is a 19 year old British- born student of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He can afford to invest all effort into the type of artist he wishes to be, as he is already an accomplished drummer, pianist and composer! The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Award and the Indie International Songwriting Contest are just a few reasons to believe this is true.
His music is skillful (describing the musicality) but easy to listen to, an uncommon claim in the world of jazz.
|Here With Me|
|It Is What It Is|
|All That Was|
|In This Place|
This song immediately highlights his contemporary vibe. The percussion is strongly RnB. In all other respects, the track remains quite generic. It appears to act as a preface to his music; I would put this right at the front if I had to listen to a number of Joshua Wheatley songs in succession.
His most impressive jazz composition, this track is pretty and visibly sentimental. To me, the song succeeds in conveying strong positive emotion. It displays an ease with transitions, which are as smooth as can be.
3. Here with me
Great song-writing on this motivational song that expresses pain. It sets the stage for an intense vocal performance by Shallyn Kim and sensitive and temperamental piano playing. The piano sounds almost guitar-like; because of arpeggios that sound strummed.
4. It is what it is
This song can be relied upon to induce a sense of relief and restore peace. Joshua’s chops as a jazz drummer are on display here.
As this track, which is largely one idea on repeat, ends, it disappoints by feeling completely unexplored. I would love to hear solos against the changes of the song, which are stated simply at the beginning before the part that is looped kicks in, but I understand that that could possibly contradict the urban RnB feel of the song.
6. Deep Down
As the name would have you believe, when the tune is introduced, it is weighty, with a tinge of adventurous-ness. But when the beats drench the music, it cools down instantly. The song ends on a traditional jazz solo (without a gospel or contemporary influence).
7. All that was
All that was is profound yet fun and light. Joshua is behind the drums, piano and vocals in this one.
8. In this Place
This is a well written gospel tune that can do no wrong. The piano is all about the phrasing here, accompanied with minimistic strings.
Final thoughts: Joshua Wheatley schools you on great jazz composition while managing a dominant RnB impression.F or a pop-oriented person, a song like That Girl (not reviewed here) holds promise, and one hopes this aspect will make him more widely listened to soon… for there’s an EP in store for a small, expectant audience.
Verdict: Whether it’s jazz styling in gospel or a strong gospel influence in jazz, Joshua Wheatley doesn’t fail to deliver! In at least two senses of the word: cool music.
Stand-out tracks: Here With Me, Jade, All That Was, Deep Down