Reflections in Blue 2016

Bill Wilson’s “Reflections In Blue”

Nancy Wright Band
Play Date!
VizzTone/Direct Hit Records VTDH111

Nancy Wright is one of the hottest sax players on the scene…and she plays well to boot.  Her latest release, Playdate! is incredibly diverse, moving from Swing to straight-ahead blues, R&B and much more.  This album is more than smokin’…it is absolutely incendiary.  She will burn the house down with this one.   In the words of Willie Dixon, she’s got what it takes to “make a preacher lay his Bible down.”  Add the inclusion of quite a number of her many friends and touring partners including producer Kid Andersen, guitarists including Tommy Castro, Elvin Bishop, Joe Louis Walker, Mike Schermer and Chris Cain; vocalists Frank Bey, Wee Willie Walker, and Terrie Odabi; and keyboardists Victor Wainwright and Jim Pugh and you have a recipe for success.  Add to the mix a previously unreleased tune by her friend and mentor Lonnie Mack, some of the best sax-oriented tunes known to man and a number of fresh tunes penned by Nancy and you add fuel to the fire.  Let us not forget her regular touring band and the Plymouth Church of Jazz and Justice Choir.  You can begin to see just where this album is going…or so you think.  Just about the time you think you have this piece figured out, they will shift gears, turn up the heat and take off in a totally unexpected direction.  From blues to R&B, gospel and more, this album flows like a mountain stream…cool, refreshing and seemingly without end to its twists and turns.  Nancy Wright is a force of nature.  Try putting her into a box and you will discover just how true that statement is.  This is as good as it gets.  To find anything even nearly this good you will have to go into an extensive record collection.  Put this one into the player, kick back and enjoy the ride.  This one is funky, soulful and slathered with emotional power and pure goodness, like sauce on a nice rack of ribs.

– Bill Wilson

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