New Music For Friday October 25th
Rich Willey Boptism Funk Band – “Conspiracy” – Wise Cat Records
When I first picked up the CD of the latest release from Rich Willey (rhymes with “Billy”) I thought it felt familiar. I reviewed his earlier work, “Down and Dirty” on July 26. Aside from a slight name change of “Boptism Big Band” to Boptism Funk Band,” what I liked about the earlier release I liked as much, if not more about this one. Simply put, “Conspiracy” is just a lot of fun music. Okay, maybe it could be classified as big band. But not completely. Traditional Jazz, maybe? Well, not totally. How about my personal favorite, smooth jazz, would that apply? It would in places but not all the way through. Actually, Willey’s latest work is an amalgam of all three styles and is positive, upbeat, great tempo and just a lot of fun. All eleven original tracks seemed to me to just fly by and it was over before I even knew it. There is a strong horn section of course, but also acoustic and electric guitars and bass. Also on display are piano, organs, and my buddy, the veritable Hammond B3. When he is not performing, Willey teaches music at the college level at several schools in the Western, NC and upper part of SC regions. This one has it all, horns, strings, percussion, great arrangements, and a whole lot of toe tappin’ fun.