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May I by Willie Hill

In 2006, I reviewed Willie Hill’s Natural Evolution album, which I classified as having a purely soft, mellow, almost ethereal feel about it. It was an album expressly made for that consoling, pampering state of being, the one we yearn for right after a hard day at work. The multi-instrumentalist did an excellent job of luring me and several others, I’m sure into that quiet place of peace and reflection with island rhythms and caressing violins. May I picks up where Natural Evolution left off, leaving the door to "that place" open wide so as to allow us entry once again to experience the ultimate experience in solace through jazz and R&B.

The first and title track escorts us through the door with confidence and as we plop down in some mental soft cushiony chair, further serenades us with subtle island rhythms via tunes like "Just Jazzin" and "A Song For FeFe." No tune is ever far away from the room where Hill places us, and it is truly comfortable. Nothing extremely complicated, no obscure timing, no electronic manipulations. Just very exotic, acoustic, placid, and melodic music. Hill turns a tune well in this direction. When he couples it with his magical strings reminiscent of Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra, it’s clear this is his area of expertise and he claims it definitively.

No stranger to the lazy, hazy blues of R&B, selections like "Wonderful" are handled with much finesse and the total R&B feel is even more evident here on cuts like "Ocean Waves." Bottom line, Hill again delivers another aural treat.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Willie Hill
  • CD Title: May I
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Joy Records
  • Rating: Three Stars
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