When people dream of becoming musicians, they probably envision screaming fans fainting in the front rows of sold out concerts. Yet musicians have sprouted from under the radar with years of experience already under their belts. Session musicians like Andrew Small who has gained a reputation as a highly regarded drummer, musical director and producer over an impressive twenty-five-year career. Trusted by the likes of Kylie, Massive Attack and IL Divo, Andrew has now collected a group of fellow session musicians together to create a fusion of funky sounds taken from a variety of inspirations. Combing the styles of jazz, afro-Cuban, neo-soul and gospel (just to name a few) Andrew showcases his talent as an instrumentalist as well as composer.
Beginning with the track ‘Yummy’, the album opens with a funky flavour of instruments of blended guitars, horns, sax and keyboards. The melody of the track is infectious and electrifying, setting the spine-tingling tone for the entire album. ‘Yummy’ captures the attention of your ear drums and commands you to listen until it’s climatic end that only leads on to more of the sensational soundtrack. Other tracks such as ‘If Only’ will have you grooving and unable to stop moving to the perfectly timed arrangement of percussion and horns. Whilst lead track ‘Crisps and Chocolate’ puts more of a focus on soaring saxophone with ‘All the Answers’ flowing into smooth jazz. Every track is backed by Andrew’s dynamic drumming, but the musician has not created music to revolve around him. In fact, the focus has been put on making sure everything ties together with a seamless fluidity – a true testament to Andrew’s skills as a composer and producer.
A year in the making, What Happens Now? is the perfect album for long drives or just to have on in the background but it’s an album that is guaranteed to get under your skin.
Review by Skye W. Winwood