"Meet me Jesus, meet me
meet me in the middle of the air if my wings should fail me please meet me with another pair."
- from "In My Time of Dying"
Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan,
Blind Willie Johnson
It has been established on the 'About SEZWAH' page how we technically make our music; that is, we start with, and always at the heart of SEZWAH is, the two piece attack of Jammin' Jami Johnson and 'The Mystery Drummer.' Already established was that SEZWAH had come up with this unique band approach and number before it was made fashionable in the late 90s due to circumstance and the influence of two entities. Now we reveal one influence was the Rolling Stones resurgence as a massive touring and recording band in the mid 90s, particularly with 'Voodoo Lounge' in 1994. Members of SEZWAH attended three of the shows live around the Midwest and even hung out in Chicago after a show at the Ritz bar where the Stones were staying and got to meet new bass player Daryl Jones and longtime Stones backing singer and confidant Bernard Fowler, among others. The tour and CD were huge influences on SEZWAH developing our sound and skills, and we noticed in pre tour interviews Keith Richards stated that they would use far fewer musicians on stage than Steel Wheels, as the smaller the musical unit, "the more you can do" was Keith's quote.
SEZWAH noticed this apparent dichotomy and got into the meaning of it, as well as Ronnie Wood's comment "what you don't play is just as important" and combined it with another huge rhythmic influence: their love of basketball. The sport has always been compared to jazz music with its combination of players/musicians holding down different responsibilities in the music/game while at the same time improvising to accomplish the desired outcome of the game/song. As noted earlier, Basketball's main influence on SEZWAH was the Magic Johnson led fast break of the Showtime 80s and early 90s Lakers. this was often described as 'controlled chaos' on the basketball court, with the same phrase being used to describe the Rolling Stones' rock and roll.
However, SEZWAH found itself with two main members and not the whole team of mega legends the 80s Lakers had. Even their bench had All Stars like Bob McAdoo and others. So SEZWAH focused on the post Kareem stripped down Lakers of 89 through 91 - teams that used hybrid players such as Sam Perkins and Orlando Woolridge, athletes of size who could run and shoot inside and out, combining with mainstays like Byron Scott and James Worthy who could do the same, while magic ran the show and still combined with Michael Cooper to be 'like 5 or 6 players instead of two.' Two, which, is what SEZWAH had with 'The Mystery Drummer' and 'Jammin' Jami.' Of course, the flip side to Magic, his twin in basketball domination of all phases of this ultimate rhythmic game (Magic was all time steals leader in NBA Championship series games) was the great Larry Bird. They were alter egos to each other, twins from separate coasts reshaping the game and competing against each other and against the game itself, striving for perfection. Bird was a truly ambidextrous player, equally adept at shooting, passing or dribbling with either hand, thus Jammin' Jami and the Mystery Drummer adapted that to their music by playing any instrument needed in Jami's case (though he IS a GUITAR PLAYER first and foremost) and the Mystery Drummer adapting his Charlie Watts based style to branch out into John Bonham rock solid swing heavy bombast to Keith Moon melodious thunder rock OR applying swing and a rock beat to any style SEZWAH chooses to play in any genre, as long as it has melody, groove, harmony and a funky, rhythmic beat. So Larry Bird basketball at his improvisational best, which resembles jazz so much, of which Keith Richards said a "true rock band is a jazz band" gives SEZWAH a formula to follow.
Thus SEZWAH with two members again sounds like a full band, going back to the original jazz comparison with basketball, and the rhythm of both tie into it with the blues, which real rock must be drenched in. The rhythm of a band/team on the stage/court easily morphs into 'The Maximum R&B,' that The Who's music has always has been described as since the 60s. How SEZWAH sounds like that full band taking Keith Richards "less players on stage more can be done" explains the SEZWAH ability to sound like that full band they are.
Buy song "It's Your Turn" (WHO cover by SEZWAH)
What type of music does SEZWAH play?
Obviously it's rock and roll, but when SEZWAH's sound editor Grahm first met Jammin' Jami and asked, the reply 'rock and roll' made him ask, "but there's so much that falls under that, what kind specifically?" Though Jammin' Jami saw the wisdom in what he asked, he also felt it was too bad something so specific and real now was so broad, diffused, and watered down that you had to get more specific.
There is a name for the specific real type of hard rock and real rock and roll SEZWAH plays, and we will reveal here with this song in the near future. Check back soon...