There’s an undeniably theatrical feel to this release from Donald Wiles. The shuffle of the beat, the dramatic set-up, the quickness of those fingers on the keys – the energy of it all presents a slightly stage-like ambiance that reminded me initially of certain films and musicals from the way back when. As the track progresses, you notice a distinct level of evolution occurring. That lack of complacency is always present in Donald Wiles’ music, but in this case it seems the exact opposite of complacency has been fiercely embraced. The changes are seemingly endless, forever keeping you on your toes, yet of couse always maintaining, at its core, that calming and easy going energy that is classic jazz. The only thing that isn’t jazz about these recordings is the fact that end so quickly, but, as stated on previous write-ups, you really need to witness the music in real time to step up to the plain entirely and soak up the absolute mood of the moment.
This is definitely one of the more creatively interesting releases of Donald Wiles. The piece has a style and swagger that wanders over to you with unquestionable confidence and certainty. It’s impressive how very different the mood set by each of these recent recordings is, yet at the same time, you get the same feeling of familiarity as you make your way through them. The Donald Wiles’ sound is a thing of its own right now, and that’s a powerful position to be in. As the winter season settles in, this is precisely the sort of ambiance that will warm even the coldest of audiences. The skill and clear love for making music expressed within the recordings transcends the walls of genre and absorbs into you as any great work of art should. Gorgeous and ever impressive to witness.