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Chip Wickham Reaches New Heights with “Cloud 10”

United Kingdom based saxophonist and flautist, Chip Wickham, keeps it smooth and cool on his latest album, Cloud 10, which is his first release as part of Gondwana Records. Hanging high in a sky, it’s a laid-back jazz and blues album that focuses on the lyrical qualities of Wickham’s dual musical voice which comes across as expressive, funky, and heartfelt.

The album features many of Wickham’s go-to players including piano by Phil Wilkinson, bass by Sneaky, drums by Jon Scott, and vibraphone by Tom Risco. New to this album’s line up are harpist Amanda Whiting, percussionist Jack McCarthy, and Irish trumpeter and flugel horn player Eoin Grace who help to round out the album’s unique ethereal tones.

In talking about the process of recording the album, Wickham notes that “It was a beautiful week of pure music and joy, I think you can hear it in the recording and that’s the inspiration for the title: Cloud 10 is a place of great happiness, way out beyond Cloud 9!”

And you can hear the dizzying heights that the album is perched at in the light flourishes various instruments. The drums and percussion take on a more ambient feel relying on the muffled shuffling of ghost notes on the snare and hefty use of the ride cymbal. Instead of being a grounding force, it allows the more melodic instruments to take center stage with a lofty feeling like gentle vibrations of wind spreading over a sunsetting horizon. As a whole, the album feels very warm and soft allowing for that comfortable sense of joy to flow with abandon.

Cloud 10 is available now on major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Find this and more excellent music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify.

Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

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