David Jonathan Hulett has been on quite a journey since pre-pandemic. You can say that the pandemic caused a blip or a delay of sorts. However, one of the milestones he had hoped to achieve has finally arrived.
Hulett will be releasing and debuting a new album, entitled “400” from his new project, David Jonathan and The Inner City Bedlam. The ensemble will perform on Saturday, October 29 at 7 pm at the Frank E Merriweather Jr Library. Music from the new album will be showcased.
I asked David what is behind the naming of the album “400” and he states, “it represents the 400-year anniversary of the transatlantic slave trade and the music black and brown people have inspired.” An ambitious endeavor that finds David Jonathan focused on composing and arranging original music. As well as balancing social justice messages that call for reform but end with love and happiness.
His journey has taken him from being a sideman to a bandleader. “I’ve been on a journey to recertify myself as a solo artist after spending so many years being a sideman to several projects. I’m excited as this personal project is blowing up and getting a lot of attention.” Jazz fans may remember David Jonathan as “Teaspoon” who spent a few years being the prolific drummer for the jazz fusion band, Gruvology. Which consistently won the JazzBuffalo Poll award for Favorite Jazz Fusion Group.
Hulett shared an original tune entitled “No Reparation” that includes his dynamic percussive techniques and a melodic rhythm that shines a spotlight on the expressive saxophone sounds of Avis Burroughs from Atlanta. Contributing to this tune also are George Caldwell on piano and Sabu Adeyola on bass. There is a lot to like in this tune. It fuses Coltrane-like and even McCoy Tyner-like sounds with fusion elements. Throughout, Hulett’s timing is impeccable.
Here is a special preview of “No Reparations” provided by Hulett for JazzBuffalo readers:
There is a social justice message component to the song that cannot be missed. You will hear, towards the end of the song, the infamous chant from the Charlottesville, Virginia march by white supremacists a few years back. The power of the music is explicitly meant to overcome the hate of the chant.
David tells me “this song and another on the album actually represents a reunion of sorts for me…when I was 18 years old I did a trio with George and Sabu so it is an honor to have them on this album.”
This Saturday will not be the end of a journey but the beginning of a new one for David Jonathan and the Inner City Bedlam. And undoubtedly a significant contribution by Hulett to the community.
You can attend the album release concert on Saturday, October 29 at 7 pm. It will take place at the Frank E Merriweather Jr Library on 1324 Jefferson Avenue Buffalo, NY 14208. Tickets for the event are available at Eventbrite at this link: