Gary Willis teamed up with drummer Gergo Borlai and pianist Albert Bover for his fifth solo effort, Retro. Described as an “electric piano” trio, the approach to the album was simpler, in terms of production and instrumentation.
“This new record is about us playing together. It’s not about big productions or anything, it’s just Rhodes, bass and drums,” Willis explains. “It’s a totally different direction from what I did [on Actual Fiction]. It shows what can happen when you just make it about the interpretation of the material and how we play together. And for that reason it’s maybe more personal than anything I’ve done before.”
Retro‘s ten tracks cover a lot of ground, offering up some old school funk, some fusion, some hard swing and a few ballads. The album also features a few covers, including the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”, Bill Evans’ “We Will Meet Again” and an old standard, “For All We Know,” – a cover made popular by many musicians over the years, including Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Nina Simone and Donny Hathaway.
Willis has been working with this new trio in Barcelona, where he resides.
“Gergo is an incredible drummer. I had done some playing with him in Budapest, and since he moved to Barcelona, Albert and I have been able to work up some nice chemistry as a trio with him,” he said.
“I just wanted to feature the fun of playing together and the expression that comes out in this stripped-down setting,” Willis added. “Whatever direction it’s going, we’re going to try to get into it pretty deep.”
Preview and Retro:
Retro Track List:
- Change Agent
- Norwegian Wood
- Old School
- We Will Meet Again
- For All We Know