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Sean Wayland: Click Track Jazz: Slave to the Machine

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Long established on the Sydney, Australia, jazz scene, keyboardist Sean Wayland, who has lived in New York since 2005, makes his biggest play for a heightened Stateside profile with this two-disc, 27-song collection. It’s instructive to know that he’s conservatory-trained but venerates the fusion-funk of Herbie Hancock, whose influence looms large-not only via the Headhunters-style propulsion but also in the need to derive multiple textures from various keyboards and to roam freely while the drummers strafe the soundscape. Wayland seems equally at home on acoustic piano, electric piano and synthesizers, and has the occasional guest like saxophonist Donny McCaslin or guitarist Wayne Krantz stop by to help fatten the mix. But the heart-and-soulful funk of Machine stems from his interactions with his antic drummers, including longtime trio mate Jochen Rueckert, Keith Carlock and especially rising star Mark Guiliana, who puts just the right thrust in Wayland’s cover of “Giant Steps.”

Originally Published