Scott Wilkie started his solo career after his move from Detroit to
Southern California with his album Boundless (1999). His
sophomore album More Than You Know followed in 2000. After
a long hiatus he released Home Again: The Solo Piano Sessions
in 2008 and returned with The Wonder of Christmas in 2013.
On July 8, 2014 his new album All In will arrive.
Beside his own band he is joined by guest
musicians Jay Beckenstein, Jimmy Haslip, Jeff Lorber, Jay Graydon,
Paul Jackson Jr., Vinnie Colaiuta, Peter Sprague and Jeff Kashiwa.
His band includes bassist Nathan Brown, guitarist Dave Hill,
drummers David Anderson and Jeff Olson, and percussionist Ramon
Wilkie comments꞉ "It was fun to feel like a
star-struck kid again, working with all these amazing musicians, and
musical heroes of mine, who are also now great friends. They helped
me rediscover the enthusiasm that drove me to become a musician and
artist in the first place. It was a blast to work with them not only
as a fellow musician, but also as a composer and producer."
The cover photo shows Scott in splendid
condition. This positive mood shines through the starting piece
Summer Song. Jay Beckenstein on sax and Wilkie on piano
share equally the infectious melody with a captivating flow. On
Canyon Song Scott excels on three key instruments, piano,
Rhodes and Minimoog. Astounded by the extraordinary virtuosity I ask
for an extended version.
Blues Cruise is somewhat unusual, since a total of three
musicians live on the keys꞉ Scott on piano and Clavinet, Jeff Lorber
on Rhodes and Rob Rinderer on organ. The piece is overall funky and
pushed by drummer Vinnie Colaiuta into a hypnotic run. With
Beach Hut Scott presents an unpretentious piece, which
guarantees wide distribution on smooth jazz stations. Peter Sprague
adds on guitar a flavor of Django Reinhardt.
Put It Where You Want It was a song of The Crusaders from
their album Crusaders 1 (1972). Although Scott keeps the
rendition slower as the original, he speeds up masterly on the solo
part. Jeff Kashiwa delivers another peak with his EWI. Rob Rinderer
inserts on Hammond B3 a jazzy retro atmosphere. Emma's Groove
illustrates Scott's remarkable mastery on the piano, Jeff Kashiwa on
EWI is another highlight, but a revelation is Jay Graydon on guitar.
With America The Beautiful Scott combines his patriotism with
his passion for jazz. Stevie Wonder wrote Isn't She Lovely
from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life for his
daughter Aisha. Often covered Scott presents his warmhearted piano
version greatly accentuated by Paul Jackson on rhythm guitar.
With the final song The One Scott develops great empathy
and sensitivity in the performance of his piano. Something for the
thoughtfuls among the audience.
Scott Willkie's album All In is a treat
for all smooth jazz aficionados. Beyond the captivating or popular
melodies he reveals so much virtuosity, finger dexterity and
unmatched showmanship, that the serious question arises why he
held back with new releases in the past.
Buy the album
Title: All In
Artist: Scott Wilkie
Genre: Smooth Jazz
1. Summer Song
2. Canyon Song
3. Blues Cruise
4. Beach Hut
5. Put It Where You Want It
6. Emma's Groove
7. America the Beautiful
8. Isn't She Lovely
9. The One
Home Again: The Solo Piano Sessions