Rich Willey receives a 9/10 with Take Effect Reviews

824 0


Rich Willey Boptism Big Band

by Tom Haugen

Down & Dirty

Wise Cat, 2019


Listen to Down & Dirty


Rich Willey has some deep roots in the jazz scene, going back to the early ‘80s in Philadelphia and New York, and after returning to his home state of Florida to continue his education he went back on tour and released some solo work.

Here, Willey has 11 of his compositions scored for an 18 piece big band, where many genres are touched upon and several solos are unleashed in this 70+ minute listen where Willey takes up trumpet, bass trumpet and flugelhorn.

“Boogie Beast” starts the listen with a big presence, where plenty of horns infiltrate the playful setting of reggae influence, and this continues to the busy, cinematic feel of the soaring “Down & Dirty”.

Elsewhere, “Eyes All For You” brings a bit of mystery to the sophistication, while “Dancing Hippo” starts with warm keys and builds into a fun atmosphere you certainly will want to move your body to.

Late in the listen, “Little Treasures” recruits some Latin flavor to the equation, and “Funk Heap” indeed brings heaps of funk to the soulful energy that even jams in a guitar solo. The album ends on “But For The Grace Of God”, where an orchestral presence illuminates the exit as solos from piano and flugelhorn are in important attendance.

Big band sounds just don’t much better than this, and Willey’s ability to steer the ship so meticulously is certainly much of this reason why Down & Dirty will be one of the best jazz records this year.

Travels well with: Wayne BergeronPlays Well With Others; Rob McConnell & The Boss BrassDon’t Get Around Much Anymore.

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.