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LARRY WILSON

No Secrets No Lies

Self produced

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1. On The Move
2. Ode To Oscar
3. Little Sunflower
4. We Found Love
5. You Seem Familiar
6. Open Sesame
7. The Afterglow
8. The Lord's Prayer
9. Light
10. Midnight Oil
11. Release
12. See You
13. Tuti's Jig

Larry Wilson - Drums, Hammond B3 organ, Fender Rhodes, synths, electric bass, vocals, percussion
David Stewart - Alto, tenor sax (track 1),alto only (tracks 5, 6)
Daniel Dickenson - Alto sax (tracks 1-3, 6, 9, 10, 13)
Todd DelGuidice - Tenor sax (tracks 1, 2, 6, 11, 13)
Jose Rojas - Tenor sax (track 3, 9, 10)
Jesus Rodriguez - Tenor sax (track 5)
Ray Callender - Trumpet (tracks 1-3, 5, 9-11, 13), flugelhorn (track 6)
Bryant Peterson - Trombone (track 5)
Corey Wilcox - Trombone (track 13)
Josh Bowlus - Piano (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13), Fender Rhodes (track 3)
Lawrence Buckner - Upright bass (tracks 1-3, 6, 9-13)
Mike Perez - Upright bass (tracks 4, 7)
Jeremy Sauer - Electric bass (track 5), acoustic guitar (track 12)
Terry "Doc" Handy - Percussion (track 1)
Akian Uwanda - Vocals (track 5)
Celeste Betton - Vocals (track 8)

Larry Wilson is undoubtedly a talent. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up in Jackson, Florida and began playing drums at the age of only 3 (in church). Although primarily a drummer, he is actually a multi-instrumentalist as can be heard on this album. Add to that, the fact that he has toured in Europe and has worked as a session musician in a diversity of settings as well as being a record producer, and it has to be acknowledged that he is a formidable presence on the music scene. His abilities as a composer are showcased here with ten of thirteen tracks his originals, while he provided arrangements for the remaining three. He has assembled a group of gifted musicians for this recording session and the result is a pleasurable listening experience. On some tracks, Wilson can be heard on as many as four or five instruments!

There are some gems to be found on this album. Ode To Oscar, for instance, has tight, cohensive ensemble work on a swinging bopish number, enlivened greatly by the contribution of Daniel Dickenson on alto sax and Todd DelGuidice on tenor. There's an explosive solo by Wilson on drums and Josh Bowlus is both oblique and adventurous on piano. The Freddie Hubbard composition, Little Sunflower, features a dreamy and relaxed beginning to a charming theme. Ray Callender's fine muted trumpet stands out but, in fairness, all three soloists (the others being Dickenson on alto and Bowlus on Fender Rhodes) reveal themselves as masterly improvisers. On We Found Love, Josh Bowlus maintains an emphatic and infectious rhythm while Larry Wilson gives a nimble performance in support, marked by delicacy of touch. Mike Perez is quietly effective on bass. You Seem Familiar allows singer Akiah Uwanda, who wrote the lyrics, to deliver them in appealing style and even to give us some gentle scat. The group sound once more is excellent and I was impressed by Wilson on Fender Rhodes and by David Stewart on alto sax. Sweet music indeed. Open Sesame presents Ray Callender with the chance to play flugelhorn which he does with warmth. Although there's a touch of melancholy from both soloists (altoist David Stewart is the other), the piece builds to a robust climax. And I loved The Afterglow, which is a trio number. Bowlus on piano shows an inventive and lyrical approach to the melody, Perez is deft on bass and Wilson powerful on drums.

It is the case that wherever you go on this disc, there is something to appreciate. On the very personal See You, for instance, Wilson shows he has more than adequate vocal talents Celeste Betton, meanwhile, is the vocal lynchpin of a gospel version of The Lord's Prayer and Larry Wilson is the epitome of a one-man band, playing on this track six instruments, as well as providing an interesting arrangement. I've said enough I hope, to suggest that this is an album well worth exploring. If you are looking for barnstorming jazz, then, on the whole, this is not in that style, though it has its moments. However you classify what you hear (since there are various genres around at different times on this CD), it is authentically good music, played with integrity and flair, collectively and individually. I'm always happy to commend that.

James Poore




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