Keyboardist Scott Wilkie started his solo career after his move from Detroit to Southern California with his album Boundless (1999). His sophomore album More Than You Know followed in 2000. After a long hiatus he released Home Again: The Solo Piano Sessions in 2008 and returned with The Wonder of Christmas in 2013. On July 8, 2014 his new album All In will arrive.

Beside his own band he is joined by guest musicians Jay Beckenstein, Jimmy Haslip, Jeff Lorber, Jay Graydon, Paul Jackson Jr., Vinnie Colaiuta, Peter Sprague and Jeff Kashiwa.  His band includes bassist Nathan Brown, guitarist Dave Hill, drummers David Anderson and Jeff Olson, and percussionist Ramon Yslas.

Wilkie comments꞉ "It was fun to feel like a star-struck kid again, working with all these amazing musicians, and musical heroes of mine, who are also now great friends. They helped me rediscover the enthusiasm that drove me to become a musician and artist in the first place. It was a blast to work with them not only as a fellow musician, but also as a composer and producer."

The cover photo shows Scott in splendid condition. This positive mood shines through the starting piece Summer Song. Jay Beckenstein on sax and Wilkie on piano share equally the infectious melody with a captivating flow. On Canyon Song Scott excels on three key instruments, piano, Rhodes and Minimoog. Astounded by the extraordinary virtuosity I ask for an extended version.

Blues Cruise is somewhat unusual, since a total of three musicians live on the keys꞉ Scott on piano and Clavinet, Jeff Lorber on Rhodes and Rob Rinderer on organ. The piece is overall funky and pushed by drummer Vinnie Colaiuta into a hypnotic run. With Beach Hut Scott presents an unpretentious piece, which guarantees wide distribution on smooth jazz stations. Peter Sprague adds on guitar a flavor of Django Reinhardt.

Put It Where You Want It was a song of The Crusaders from their album Crusaders 1 (1972). Although Scott keeps the rendition slower as the original, he speeds up masterly on the solo part. Jeff Kashiwa delivers another peak with his EWI. Rob Rinderer inserts on Hammond B3 a jazzy retro atmosphere. Emma's Groove illustrates Scott's remarkable mastery on the piano, Jeff Kashiwa on EWI is another highlight, but a revelation is Jay Graydon on guitar.

With America The Beautiful Scott combines his patriotism with his passion for jazz. Stevie Wonder wrote Isn't She Lovely  from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life for his daughter Aisha. Often covered Scott presents his warmhearted piano version greatly accentuated by Paul Jackson on rhythm guitar. With the final song The One Scott develops great empathy and sensitivity in the performance of his piano. Something for the thoughtfuls among the audience.

Scott Willkie's album All In is a treat for all smooth jazz aficionados. Beyond the captivating or popular melodies he reveals so much virtuosity, finger dexterity and unmatched showmanship,  that the serious question arises why he held back with new releases in the past.  







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Album Information

Title: All In
Artist: Scott Wilkie
Year: 2014
Length: 0:49:30
Genre: Smooth Jazz
: BeachMusic Studios


1. Summer Song
2. Canyon Song
3. Blues Cruise
4. Beach Hut
5. Put It Where You Want It
6. Emma's Groove
7. America the Beautiful
8. Isn't She Lovely
9. The One

Further review꞉

Home Again: The Solo Piano Sessions