Tuesday , February 27 2024
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Music Review: Larry Wilson – ‘No Secrets No Lies’

Composer / drummer Larry Wilson weaves pleasing bedtime narratives and balmy nocturnes on his recording, No Secrets No Lies.  Comprised of dulcet aesthetics and blissful atmospherics, the music blends soul, blues, jazz-inspired bop, and gospel into an array of intertwining patterns and winding cascades, making for a compilation that treads on the wild side of the composer’s nature.
The active interplay between the tooting horns combined with the pulsating rhythm section of trickling keys and bopping bass and drums through “Midnight Oil” radiates a bebop spirit reminiscent of the likes of John Coltrane and Dave Brubeck.  Wilson and his mates emanate a big band tremor through the track, as his drumming and Mike Perez’s upright bass establish a foundation for the individual horns to emerge in intervals and take center stage.

The soothing ambience of “Release” has a nocturnal vibe as though the music is made for after-hours.  The gentle lulls and swells contouring “See You” features Wilson on lead vocals as he vows, “The thought of you causes me to smile / And I can’t wait until I see you / I just can’t wait until I see you….Just to look into your eyes and know that you’re mine / Just to hold you in my arms / And keep you safe from harm.”  The soft glimmer of the guitar chords are fused with the reflective musings of the piano phrases, culminating into relaxing cascades.

Wilson and his crew spice up the tempo to a New Orleans-style ragtime in “Tuti’s Jig” that is furnished with pumping beats and splashing horns.  The party atmosphere has a Mardi Gras allure, which contrasts the liquidity smoothness of the saxophone along “On the Move.”  Swirling horns bounce off of Wilson’s rhythmic beats through “Ode to Oscar” and then cool down to a dulcet sway in “Little Sunflower.”  Wilson’s interpretation of the pop hit “We Found Love (In a Hopeless Place)” is laden with expressive improvisations in the drums and piano keys, enriching the melody with starry embellishments that embroiders a harmonious flow.

The soulful tone of Akia Uwanda’s vocals in “You Seem Familiar” gives the song its emotional depth, resonating a smooth jazz sonorous as the meandering keys scroll a picturesque narrative along “The Afterglow.”  The calming vocals of Celest Betton recite “The Lord’s Prayer,” embossing the words with a glorious lilt that gives the religious staple a soul-pop shine.

Wilson’s leanings towards dulcet aesthetics and blissful atmospherics relatable to spiritual hymns are rooted in his religious beliefs.  He serves in the Music Ministry at the St. Paul Church of Jacksonville as well as the musical director for a number of artists and bands.  His recording No Secrets No Lies is a sonic journey that enshrouds listeners in harmonious melodies with fluid swells and lulls made for after-hours pleasure.

Larry Wilson – drums, percussion, Hammond B3 organ, Fender Rhodes, piano, synthesizers, bass guitar, and vocals, Joshua Bowlus – piano, Fender Rhodes, Lawrence Buckner – upright bass, Daniel Dickenson – alto saxophone, Todd Delgudice – tenor saxophone, Ray Callendar – trumpet, flugalhorn, David Stewart – alto and tenor saxophones, Mike Perez – upright bass, Jeremy Sauer – bass guitar, acoustic guitar, Cory Wilcox – trombone, Jesus Rodriguez – tenor sax, Bryant Patterson – trombone, Celest Betton – vocals, Akia Uwanda – vocals

“On the Move,” “Ode to Oscar,” “Little Sunflower,” “We Found Love,” “You Seem Familiar” (Feat. Akia Uwanda), “Open Sesame,” “The Afterglow,” “The Lord’s Prayer” (Feat. Celest Betton), “Light,” “Midnight Oil,” “Release,” “See You,” “Tuti’s Jig,” “April in Paris”

About susanfrancesny

Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in eastern Long Island.

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