Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
Saxophone player Nancy Wright is on a hot streak with two discs in just over a year. Last year’s Putting Down Roots turned a lot of heads with its nods to Wrights’ musical influences such as Junior Walker, Illinois Jacquet and Gene Ammons. This new release keeps the momentum going with a top notch band and a host of blues notables with whom Wright has played over the years including Tommy Castro, Elvin Bishop, Mighty Mike Schermer and Joe Louis Walker. Things kick off with the funky "Why You Wanna Do It" which features the silky smooth vocals of Wee Willie Walker in contrast to Wright’s wailing sax, a combination repeated later on with Frank Bey on "Been Waiting That Long". Tommy Castro adds some stinging guitar to Walker’s boastful proclamation of her power over the opposite sex on Willie Dixon’s, "I Got What It Takes", which gets as much heat from her saucy vocals as her guttural sax groove. The jump blues of "Yes He Do" gets an energetic kick from Victor Wainwright on keys. Just when you think Wright is going to be content to play a side role on her own disc with a brief solo here and there, she grabs the center spotlight on the rocking "Cherry Wine" and the instrumentals "Blues for the Westside", "There Is Something On Your Mind", "Back Room Rock", "Soul Blue" and "Trampled" where she demonstrates that she could go shoulder to shoulder with genre giants like Big Jay McNeely with her rich tone and wailing leads. Within these instrumental numbers Wright mixes things up between jazz, blues, soul and R & B so that the songs each stand on their own as a worthy listen rather than just another sax showcase. While she could travel comfortably in the blues world the full length of the disc she heads to church on the gospel rave up "Satisfied" where she’s joined by the Plymouth Church of Jazz and Justice Choir. She doesn’t stay there very long though and quickly turns the lights down low on the sultry invitation to a good time, "Warranty", and turns them up again on the sixties pop of "Good Loving Daddy". If you haven’t caught up to the dynamo that is Nancy Wright, time’s a wasting! Smitty
review by Mark
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