Some might remember Jim Wellman as one of the founding members of The Brand New Heavies, a group who were on the forefront of the acid jazz movement in the early 90s. Wellman is now back for the first time in over a decade with his forthcoming album, Dawn to Dusk. The preview EP, For the First Time released on February 8 and will have old fans remembering the 90s groups definitive sound with “Probably Good.”
“Probably Good” is the lead track on For the First Time, and from its opening organ melody, fans will instantly recognize the Heavies’ characteristic smooth acid jazz. Wellman was clearly one of the keystone parts of that signature sound. What modernizes this track is the addition of a more experimental-sounding saxophone opener. The rest of the track is a light, almost pop-driven funk track with a bit of a Latin groove.
The Brand New Heavies were known for juxtaposing political statements next to these light, charming acid beats, and the themes expressed on Dawn to Dusk are of a similar vein. Wellman feels he has been even more obvious in expressing his political and social opinions on this EP and Album, and indeed “Probably Good” makes a clear statement about materialism and the wool that is pull over consumers’ eyes through extreme capitalism. The lyrics are performed in such a sweet, sing-songy way by Judy LaRose, however, that many listeners may not notice on first listen.
Dawn to Dusk will release in full on February 29, but in the meantime “Probably Good” re-introduces the public to smooth, acid-style jazz while delivering a hard-hitting and expansive message. “Probably Good” and its EP-mates can be streamed on Soundcloud, or watch its accompanying video on YouTube. For the First Time, the Prequel EP, can be streamed or purchased on itunes or CD baby. The full album, Dawn to Dusk, releases on February 29.