Title: We Belong
Artist: Lilli Lewis Project
Label: Louisiana Red Hot
Formats: CD, LP, Digital
Release date: September 6, 2019
On the Lilli Lewis Project’s newest release, We Belong, the Louisiana-based quintet offers their commentary on the importance of being connected to others, whether that connection is within a community, family or intimate relationship. Led by Lilli Lewis on piano and vocals, the multi-genre jazz, folk, funk and soul band also features Smokey Brown (guitar), Wade Hymel (drums), Ryan Murry (percussion), Ole Oddlokken (sax), Dr. Jimbo Walsh (bass), plus a few special guests.
Opening with the song “Interlock,” the album’s theme is introduced as Lewis sings, “We ain’t got no time for words like us and them” followed by the band singing the refrain, “We belong to each other.” This need for connections is expressed throughout the album on songs such as “Anybody Anymore,” where Lewis questions if people still believe in love, and “Turn it Around,” about reestablishing a lost connection to yourself by going back to the “before” or starting over from where you first began. Kirk Joseph (sousaphone) and Dr. Michael White (clarinet) are featured on “Coretta’s Song,” an homage to Coretta Scott King performed in the style of a New Orleans funeral march. Also featured is trombonist Glen David on the reggae inspired song, “When the Rain Comes In.”
If you are a fan of New Orleans jazz and soul, We Belong definitely “belongs” in your ears! Catch the Lilli Lewis Project Lewis on tour this fall in Oxford, MS, Bloomington, IN, Champagne, IL and then back home again in New Orleans, LA.
Reviewed by Bobby E. Davis Jr.