Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

DJ Wally: Nothing Stays the Same

DJ Wally made his name creating whimsical downtempo funk and drum ‘n’ bass speckled with absurd and ominous samples. He may be the only producer to have used Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” in a track (“Smoke,” off 2001’s The Creepy Crawlies). It also takes melon-sized balls to sample Simon & Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).” However, on Nothing Stays the Same, DJ Wally (Keef Destefano) tones down the wackiness and gets deep with Blue Series curator Matthew Shipp’s versatile ringers.

Wally’s knack for ass-shaking funk remains intact, but with drummer Guillermo E. Brown, bassist William Parker and vibraphonist Khan Jamal behind him, he can rely more on finesse than oddball samples (though some of those pop up, too). Wally has the good sense to bathe Peter Gordon’s acoustic and electric flutes in reverb on several tracks, and the effect induces shivers (I’m a sucker for flutes and reverb in general, and Gordon’s motifs throughout Nothing never fail to enchant).

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published