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Open Door by Willie Hill

Multi-instrumentalist Willie Hill is one of the best undiscovered talents I have heard in a long time. From modest beginnings building a recording studio out of a former tobacco warehouse in Durham, North Carolina to releasing his material on his own record label, Hill has shown that even if he works in a relatively small town, he still can perform with smooth jazz's elite. His newest release Open Door brings out a different type of sensitivity that most projects of his kind do not possess.

Usually in projects where a musician plays most of the instruments on a CD, there seems to be a similarity in how the tracks sound. In Open Door, Hill performs each instrument with a different kind of feeling that surprises me. Even though he does use James Brown on sax and Mickey Mills on steel drums, Hill's mastery of the other instruments on the nine tracks shows throughout Open Door.

Another thing I was impressed with on the CD was the versatility of Willie Hill. He is very good on the uptempo numbers and has the right amount of sensitivity on the slower songs. Of note, Tony Springs' vocals on Let This Be Love have feeling, yet has the right amount of feeling. Hill wrote all but two tracks on the CD and seems to be comfortable in whatever he writes. The only low point on Open Door was Yvette Bolden's vocal on Interlude. The song itself was good, but someone that shows a little more emotion would make the song better.

For a man who has been working all his life to be able to present his music his way, Willie Hill has succeeded in what he does best. Open Door will open up more doors for Hill and he will have a bright future making music his way.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Willie Hill
  • CD Title: Open Door
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Joy Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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