When Nick Waterhouse’s latest and self-titled album falls into your hands you will notice a young man on the cover, stood in front of a non-descript building. This might not seem vital but after the opening track By Heart you may find that you have to go back to check that image again – the irresistible work of swing, jazz and 1960s rock that you just heard has indeed come from such a young man.
Waterhouse is one of those people who have the uncanny ability to seem as though he is a reincarnation of sound itself. It might sound daft but such a voice and such immeasurable talents coming from a young musician is striking to day the least. There are musicians who have been working for 40 years or more and still haven’t obtained the level of sound that Waterhouse brings to life. His rich, soulful and powerfully passionate voice has been utterly perfected over the last 17 years of touring, writing, recording, repeating. With a set of songs that could make Tom Waits wilt, Waterhouse has composed a powerhouse of an album that takes you on a whirlwind journey. Songs such as Thought and Act slow things down in that journey and let you take stock of your trip so far as they drift and meander through a more reticent and sombre jazz lullaby.
His latest album takes a whirlwind form of amalgamation from throughout time as it lashes together combinations of influences spanning time and genre. Daring jazz pianos, roaring brass melodies, deep, striking guitar tunes that are almost guttural in their power. There are even traces of Gospel within his work that lend him a veritably uplifting sound. Having drawn influences from 60s rock, jazz, blues and arguably the correct connotations of rhythm and blues, Waterhouse has concocted a perfect collaboration of time to bring his tunes to life in a modern and contemporary manner. His self-titled album is a daring endeavour that will appeal to fans old and new alike as he overlays all of his phenomenal work with his powerful and impassioned vocals that sound as though they have been steeped in bourbon.
It feels almost absurd to try and describe the nature of this album. As it progresses it undulates and adapts at every turn and there is a raw and crackling energy housed within it that keeps you guessing at the next direction. This would be the mark of a truly good jazz musician and Waterhouse is certainly that and more. He is a blast from the past who has set himself solely in the modern day.
2019 UK + European Live Dates:
March 18th – Manchester, UK – Gorilla
March 21st – London, UK – 229 The Venue
March 23rd – Brussels, BE – Botanique-Orangerie
March 24th – Paris, FR – Petit Bain
March 26th – Hamburg, DE – Mojo Club
March 27th – Berlin, DE – Columbia Theatre
March 28th – Amsterdam, NL – Het Zonnehuis
March 30th – Athens, GR – Fuzz Live Music Club
March 31st – Thessaloniki, GR – Fix Factory of Sound
More info at: https://www.nickwaterhouse.com/
Review by Joe Knipe