Breaks the Sound Barrier Cruzin' the Music Highway
funk, rock, R&B and Latin are amongst the different exits you can
take on their musical highway."
group Wavelength (http://wavelength.fmcompserve.com)
offers the perceptive listener many different styles and textures
from the colorful palette of the jazz genre to enjoy. Their diversity
is shaped by the melting pot created out of the various cultural
and musical backgrounds which each core member brings to the band.
Add to that exciting mix contributing artists who themselves hail
from around the world, and you have a unique Wavelength sound that
cannot be easily pegged.
Now On" (R&B)
their recent release Cruzin'
the Music Highway the title of the album is portrayed literally
on the cover with road signs indicating what style of music is 'enforced.'
Jazz, funk, rock, R&B and Latin are amongst the different exits
you can take on their musical highway. I heard some polished elements
of pop in their sound as well, particularly when the tasteful female
vocals were used to their fullest potential.
a discriminating listener - who demands quality and variety - my
report card is straight A's for this band. I never once had time
to become complacent or bored with their music; each track came
at me with a strong consistency and freshness that is a rarity in
today's hit machine music industry.
name Wavelength originated back in the 80's, since the musicians
of the band at the time seemed to be on the same "wavelength"...
musically playing jazz-fusion. The album cover concept was a collaboration
between the band and TUI Designs, a graphics design company. The
owner and designer happened to be a DJ at a radio station so he
had many ideas for the cover. The original CD title was going to
be "Relay the Message," the second track on the CD. The concept
was difficult to cleverly portray on the cover so they decided to
change it to "Cruzin' the Music Highway" (fourth track on the CD)
which seemed more appropriate.
musical beginnings trace back to his early days in the Island of
Guam where his family moved to from their native Philippines. Like
many youngsters growing up in his day the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix,
Cream and Led Zeppelin contributed to his musical experience, which
comes through on the progressive jazz-rock gem "Space Flight." Playing
with various bands through high school further exposed Magallanes
to other genres of music that ranged from Blood Sweat and Tears
to Earth, Wind and Fire and Santana. The Santana influence, lovingly
acknowledged on "Teardrops Fall," comes through with respect and
his travels throughout the continental US and Hawaii, Ferdinand
performed and opened for the likes of Coke Escovedo, the Brothers
Johnson Band, the Temptations, Cold Blood, and Chubby Checker. After
traveling, his musical tastes began to change and his influences
soon included jazz artists Herbie Hancock, Chic Corea, Bob James,
and George Benson. He then started the original Wavelength band
in the 1980's and it has since evolved into the fusion of sounds
and styles that it is today, with various San Francisco Bay musicians
contributing over the years.
songs that he writes and arranges are a product of his diverse,
unique and continually evolving musical background.
with fellow Wavelength member Bobby Gaviola, Oscar became an original
member of the seminal 70's Latin Rock band, SAPO. At this time,
Oscar was thrilled to be driving in his car, and hear one of his
songs on the radio. Even more flattering was hearing the disc jockey
compare his playing to the great guitar legend, Wes Montgomery.
many artists that play with passion and the love for music in their
souls, Oscar's motivation and joy comes from the feeling he gets
while playing for an audience. When he gives himself through his
music, he shares his soul, and when people receive his music and
appreciate it, their energy feeds back into him and enhances his
performance. The listeners become an integral part of the experience.
Sadness" (Latin Jazz)
has been friends with fellow members of Wavelength for the last
25 years and thinks it has been a pleasure reuniting with them to
create a hybrid sound that they all can enjoy. He has performed
and recorded with Malo, the George Santana Project, Pete and Sheila
Escovedo, blues singer Amanda Hughes, and Cesar's Band.
categorized as a jazz band has both advantages and disadvantages.
Musically we do not delve into these issues as we pretty much write
and perform what we want."
is doing drum clinics for high schools and colleges to inspire young,
talented musicians to pursue their dreams. He also plays with a
jazz ensemble with musicians from college music programs and various
symphonies. He has done music for television and radio commercials,
ski films and film scores. Bobby has also performed and recorded
with Pete Escovedo, Chuck Mangione, Sheila E. (Prince), Armando
Perazza, Raul Rekow (Santana), Malo, Sapo, Greg Enrico (Sly & The
Family Stone), Tony Menjivar (Quicksilver, Anita Baker), Poncho
Sanchez, Tierra, El Chicano, Fania All Stars, and Ray Baretto.
Fall" sounds like Carlos Santana (whom you acknowledge in the song
title and genre description), it is amazing. What are your thoughts
on artists like Santana? Do you feel he has a one of a kind uniqueness
in a world of copycats and wannabes? How difficult is it to separate
yourself from others that are doing the same thing?
Carlos Santana essentially spawned the Latin Rock explosion of the
late '60s and '70s and opened the door for many artists that were
in the same genre. His sound is considered unique because he was
the first one to be discovered commercially and rose to super stardom
even though other artists at the time had similar styles and sound.
There are quite a few copycats and wannabes in the industry, which
is a tribute to Santana's appeal. However, there are artists that
possess the same inherent sound as Santana that did not occur from
copying. Oscar Estrella is one of these artists that happen to have
a similar sound. The difficulty in having a similar sound as another
artist is that comparisons will always occur and your originality
we try to accomplish is to produce a sound that is a collaboration
amongst the core members of the band and if the finished product
is compared to Santana music, then we hope that listeners regardless
of the comparisons will enjoy it. If the comparison gets the music
heard, then we embrace it. That is all we can ask for.
Drive" (Latin Rock/Jazz)
you feel getting exposure, as an indie artist is difficult?
Being an indie artist has inherent exposure problems. This is attributed
mainly to the lack of financial resources to fund exposure related
expenses. Airplay via the commercial radio stations and other mainstream
media is pretty much out of the reach of Indie bands starting out.
However, being an indie artist allows us to have some advantages
such as complete creative control over our music and a great deal
of independence that would be prohibitive if signed with the majority
of the record labels. Exposure through the Internet, however, is
an avenue that even indie artists can pursue with limited funds.
Coupled with live performances and airplay from college and non-commercial
radio, Indie bands can get some exposure to a limited audience.
the Message" (R&B Funk with Rap)
jazz genre is so much different from any other popular style of
music, what are advantages and disadvantages being a 'jazz' band?
Being categorized as a jazz band has both advantages and disadvantages.
Musically we do not delve into these issues as we pretty much write
and perform what we want. We categorize the songs to the closest
genre available. With the jazz field being so wide and populated
by many great artists, we have a great disadvantage in trying to
carve a niche within the genre. The main advantage that we see is
that since jazz is so wide a genre, we can cross over to various
styles of music but still maintain some jazz sounds, and this is
what we are trying to accomplish, and in the process carve a niche
for our sound.
from the San Francisco Bay area provides a rich environment for
playing music and the population there is very receptive to just
about any type of music that an artist performs. Performances are
very enjoyable for Wavelength. They are received well by their audiences,
including new listeners. With their music well accepted, it is very
easy to translate that vibe into a recording.
their music and band information posted on various Internet sites
has helped Wavelength get some exposure to places that they would
normally not have expected. Ferdinand added, "We are also getting
some airplay from some College stations and several Internet only
stations. An interesting note to date is that we are getting airplay
in Cleveland, Ohio; Bridgeport, Connecticut, Cupertino, CA; and
a commercial station in Guam."
one of their tracks ("Sorry Sadness") was slated to be included
in a CD compilation project to support a Cancer Foundation fundraiser.
The CD compilation will include some well-known jazz artists as
well as indie artists such as Wavelength. The CD, scheduled for
release on June 25 in New York, will include airplay of the CD tracks
at several NY/NJ stations. Cruzin'
the Music Highway received a very favorable review from
Muzikreviewz.com, and several of the tracks have been the "Track
of the Day" at Garageband in both the funk/soul/R&B and Jazz genres.
by the MusicDish
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It 2004 - Republished with Permission
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