Rich Willey’s Boptism Funk Band
Wise Cat, 2019
Florida native Rich Willey has paid his dues playing music all over the western side of country in the ‘80s, before taking a hiatus from the traveling life to finish up school.
Now a North Carolina resident and educator, Willey gets back to the original essence of jazz on Conspiracy, with a fun, danceable, and easily accessible album.
“Mister Magoo” gets the album off to a horn fueled start where organs and a bouncy rhythm add to the setting, and “Goofin’ Off” follows with grooves and elegance amid the jazz friendly atmosphere.
Near the middle, “Adrenaline Rush” recruits a playful delivery of bright and creative instrumentation, while “Brother Kenya’s Paradigm” injects plenty of culture into the world music influenced good time.
Deep in the listen, “Nude Eel” showcases the deft horn prowess and spirited guitar work the ensemble possess, and “Eenie Meanie Beanie Weenie” displays fleeting vocals in the busy, textured highlight. “Blues For Bobby” ends the listen indeed with fluent blues in the multifaceted approach that puts the exclamation point on this fine listen.
An extremely meticulous affair (the details of how this record came together are explained in the packaging), Willey already released Down & Dirty this year, and if he continues to deliver this type of quality, I don’t anyone will mind if another album lands before the year is up.
Travels well with: Dave Stryker– The Eight Track III; Dan Fornero– Not So Old School