Monday, 9 February 2009

Sir Wick - An Interpretation Of A Universal Language

Sir Wick – a ten-piece band – was created and is fronted by Chad “Sir Wick” Hughes, and is a talented trombonist, keyboardist, percussionist and composer. Add to this the excellent vocalists in the form of Sedalia Marie and Sarah D’Angelo then the picture is complete. This is what I would call ‘big band’ Soul / Jazz, and if you were of enough good taste enough to lay your hands on the recent Tony Momrelle & the Llungau Big Band album then this will be another album that should be added to your basket. The album mixes soulful vocals with real instruments in a live jazz mode. There are a number of interesting and musically varied instrumentals too, some very short but nevertheless sweet.

The opening song is a dynamic vocal effort called “Seal My Heart”. The horn section has a classic feel, and evokes a feel of Earth, Wind and Fire, the bassline and crashing drums contains a strong sense of timing, whereas the muted trumpet pipes in at will, encouraging the care-free nature of the vocals. This Lady is so expressive in her song that you can almost hear her smile. Oh, how I like to hear the artists doing what they do best AND enjoying themselves too. Those who like the sounds of Reel People / Kellie Sae, Ledisi, Julie Dexter etc will plumb, I am sure, for the excellent and truly joyous “Uncomplicated”. What a lovely recording this is – jazzy, soulful, perfectly pitched and hopelessly optimistic! Hurrah for that. A wonderfully festive New Orleans meets straight ahead Jazz number called “This Is The Day” follows this. Check out the horns – this song is timeless and provides some insight into how great these people would be to see live in concert. Sir Wick turns to a Latin feel with the gentle bossa of “Moonlight Serenade” where the piano and gentle percussion take centre stage. Fans of a funkier style will appreciate “Thank You, Lord” which has a UK vibe to it – fans of Incognito may find something solid here. I prefer the Rhodes-led summery “What Am I To Say”. The dreamy keys and close harmonies reflect the earlier song, “Uncomplicated”, and is one that comes highly recommended.

At two-and-a-half minutes, I only wish that “Without You” were longer. The strings and trumpet are simply delicious. This really should have been a longer song and is, I feel, criminally short. Vocally, think Take 6 / Commissioned. The drums on track 10, “You Are My Everything” are not remiss – the funky 80s club vibe with its catchy chorus is a clear winner and should be one to hit radio big time. The set closes with a series of quirkier remixes of “You Are My Everything” and “Moonlight Serenade” and leaves me wishing that the album were longer! There is a LOT of potential within this unit and I hope to be championing new releases of theirs for many years to come.

Barry Towler

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