BBE Music announces the first ever reissue of jazz bassist David Wertman’s rare 1983 Sun Ensemble LP Wide Eye Culture, carefully remastered and presented as a deluxe expanded edition, with 8 bonus tracks. Five years after the release of his Sun Ensemble debut ‘Earthly Delights’, also reissued on BBE Music, spiritual jazz bassist and prolific composer David Wertman returned to the studio in 1983 to record the follow-up, Wide Eye Culture. Now, thanks to David’s wife and musical partner Lynne Meryl, in this special deluxe edition of the album we’ve been able to include three more obscure independent releases by Wertman and Meryl, which bridge the gap between the two LPs. Two impossibly rare 1981 flexi-discs and one 1982 two-track ’45 serve to chart Wertman’s musical evolution as he settled in the lush Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts and surrounded himself with a whole new array of talented collaborators and musical influences.
Emerging from the ferment of New York’s infamous free jazz loft scene, where the music was free and ‘out’, the sessions went on for hours and the characters were dangerous and wild, David Wertman had spent his young adulthood attending what he described as “the college of ‘da streets’.” Having sharpened his skills against those of Billy Bang, Arthur Blythe, Steve Reid and Charles Tyler, among others, during the late ‘70s, Wertman made the move to Northampton, MA where his irrepressible, magnetic energy quickly drew a diverse, open-minded and talented group of players into his orbit. Alongside a core trio of vocalist Lynne Meryl, pianist Tom McClung and Wertman himself, the Wide Eye Culture album features future Sting/Don Cherry collaborator Tony Vacca on drums and Aretha Franklin/Tony Bennet band member turned music lecturer Tim Atherton on trombone.