The Rick Webster Project is a jazzy blend of vocals and instrumentation that will have you toe-tapping and nodding your head. It is an EP who music is a hearkening combination of sounds similar to Norah Jones and Seely Dane with vocalist Allira Wilson harmonizing with band members Rick Webster on guitar; Robin Murray on bass; Bronton Ainsworth on drums and Glyn Macdonald on keyboards. Ben Vanderwal also appears on drums; Matt Bell on bass and Johannes Luebbers on keyboards. The opening track, "Write it for Me," is a powerhouse of a track that sets the stage for the following four songs.
"Long Way Home," is an acoustic offering on the project with a glistening keyboard beat and Wilson's vocals flowing within the musical landscape. Its lyrics are poignant and reflective. "Grapevine Stories," stomps into your speakers with its funky backdrop. On this cut, Wilson sounds similarly to Joss Stone with her echoing and gritty tone. The soulful tune is perhaps the masterpiece among the EP and the one that undoubtedly will be played again and again. "Comfortable" feels on initial listen to be simple and standard jazz fare, but allows Wilson's voice to shine through while band members assemble around her vocals to make an interesting easy listening flow. The finale "Already Mine," returns to the melodious and swanky aspect of the opening track. This song is very, very radio-friendly and could easily land itself on a top 10 smooth jazz show.
Hailing from Western Australia and Winner of the International John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2012, a top 5 Winner of the USA Songwriting Contest in 2012 and West Coast International Songwriting Contest winner in 2013, the Rick Webster Project is a group of hardworking musicians who are easily one of the most upbeat and funky bands to come around in some time. Webster has been releasing his own material since 2011, having supported artists such as The Choirboys and Ruby Rose. Webster was a guitarist for the ARIA award winning Children's Entertainer Peter Combe in addition to performing with the Perth Symphony Orchestra when they were with the vocal masters, Ill Divo. What sets this project a part from many jazz projects of similar magnitude is the cohesiveness between the band members and the fact that the EP serves up something for jazz listeners and fans of all ages and tastes.
Final Grade: A
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