Chip Wickham ushers in winds of change on the jazz scene

Updated 22 May 2018

Chip Wickham ushers in winds of change on the jazz scene

PARIS: The hotly hyped “British jazz invasion” has been the toast of international scenesters for some months now, with breathy adjective-heavy sprawls penned on both sides of the Atlantic paying tribute to a fresh generation of musos who grew up not in the conservatoires but the clubs, channelling the grit and groove of grime into a distinctly hip, 21st century strain of freewheeling, DIY improvised music.

Now the Arab world has its own outpost in the form of Chip Wickham, a UK-born flautist, saxophonist and producer whose second album grew out of extended stints teaching in the GCC. “Shamal Wind” takes its name from the Gulf’s primal weather patterns, and there’s a distinctly meditative, Middle Eastern vibe to the title track, a slow-burning, moody vamp, peppered with percussive trills, with hints of Yusef Lateef to be found in Wickham’s wandering woodwind musings.

There’s rather less goatee-stroking to be found across the four further up-tempo cuts, which swap soul-searching for soul-jazz, soaked in the breezy bop of a vintage Blue Note release. Recorded over a hot summer in Madrid, a heady Latin pulse drives first single, “Barrio 71” — championed by the likes of Craig Charles — with Spanish multi-percussionist David el Indio steaming up a block party beat framing Wickham’s gutsy workout on baritone sax.

Having previously worked with electronic acts, including Nightmares on Wax and Jimpster, one imagines the dancefloor was a key stimulus behind Wickham’s rhythmically dense, but harmonically spare compositional approach. Phil Wilkinson’s sheer, thumped piano chords drive the relentless nod of second single “Snake Eyes,” Wickham’s raspy flute floating somewhere overhead, readymade to be skimmed off for the anticipated remix market.

In truth, Manchester-raised Wickham is both too thoughtful, and too thoughtless, to truly belong to the London-brewed jazz invasion — Shamal Wind yo-yos between meditative meandering and soulful strutting with a wilful disrespect for trend.


Heavy rain across Cairo cause chaos as residents use bulldozer to escape floods

A video was circulated over social media showing a bulldozer carrying people to help them get to the other side of the road that was flooded by the rain. (Screenshot)
Updated 23 October 2019

Heavy rain across Cairo cause chaos as residents use bulldozer to escape floods

  • Flooding on roads heading to Cairo’s International Airport caused severe delays for flight passengers
  • Authorities in Cairo deployed several vacuum trucks to clear the roads

DUBAI: Heavy rain hit Cairo on Tuesday resulting in floods across the city, leaving residence stranded.  

A video was circulated over social media showing a bulldozer carrying people to help them get to the other side of the road that was flooded by the rain.

 

Scenes of large pools of water were spread among Cairo’s districts including Heliopolis, Nasr city and Salah Salem.

Pictures of people swimming in the puddles were shared on social media. Other images showed floating boxed packages while others pretended to fish in the streams of water gushing down the streets.

 

The weather also caused flight delays, and heavy traffic across the city’s busiest roads, Egypt local press reported.

Flooding on roads heading to Cairo’s International Airport caused severe delays for flight passengers.

In response to the weather conditions, EgyptAir delayed departure time for flights until the maximum number of passengers arrive at the airport.

“The airline has decided to delay the departure of some flights due to the heavy rains, until the arrival of the maximum amount of passengers booked for these flights, to preserve the rights of our customers,” EgyptAir said in a statement.

The flood caused Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to give schools and universities in Cairo a day off on Wednesday, as more rain is expected.

In response to the prime minister’s announcement, Egyptian influencer and university student, Mohamed Tarek, shared a video on Facebook expressing his joy after hearing the news.

Authorities in Cairo deployed several vacuum trucks to clear the roads.

The Egyptian Meteorological Authority had sent out weather warnings earlier this week, with expectations of weather disruptions across the country from Monday to Friday.