Bringing about such seemingly impossible smoothness once again, Donald Wiles returns with the unbelievably delicate You Don’t Know. As described on the track itself, this melody is indeed as easy as a preschool math test. Aside from the simple sound of an ongoing snare, there’s very little, in fact nothing, that is crisp or harsh about this recording. The musicianship is of course phenomenal, always in keeping with the overall mood yet completely free to roam the halls of creativity without barriers or expectations holding them back.
The thing you tend to notice about the keyboard, in comparison to the piano or guitar, for example, is that the intensity or weight with which the notes are played is occasionally less detectable. The keys are soft and the sound is electronically sourced, so the music expressed follows the rules of those implications. However, on You Don’t Know, the keyboard is replaced by its somewhat vintage cousin the Hammond B3, and in all honesty, I felt as if there were certain moments at which you could really sense an increase in emotion or passion – certain notes are hit with a difference, a slight change in impact.
Perhaps it’s only noticeable because of how incredibly smooth and soft the entire recording is, so anything outside of that delicacy draws a lot of attention to itself. Perhaps also though, the tools do make a distinct difference as to the output of the maker. Either way, it’s an interesting trait and it really highlights a new element of Donald Wiles’ playing. Once again, the need to witness a live show is ever present. To see the performance taking place right there in front of you would allow a real additional insight into the passion and power of the music and the musician.