Wee Willie Walker & The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra
Walker, a native of Mississippi, is an influential exponent of the sound of Memphis, the city where he grew up. His musical roots, however, lie in gospel, which he sang at a very young age in the second half of the fifties. The choir he belonged to was called the Redemption Harmonizers. After turning to secular music, he became a specialist in classical soul, recording also for the specialised label Goldwax, in whose vinyls the greatest exponents of this genre have passed. Some of his old records have recently been reprinted by ACE. One of Walker’s latest releases was that with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, entitled After A While.
The band is made up of authentic soul specialists, all having formerly participated in prestigious collaborations: drummer Derrick “D’Mar” Martin was thirteen years with Little Richard, trumpeter Bill Ortiz played for sixteen years in Santana’s band, saxophonist Charles McNeal is considered one of the best on the west coast of the USA.
Their formation as a stable group is recent and took place in Italy, on the occasion of the specialised festival of Porretta.
In short, we are in front of a partnership capable of producing great Black Music – however we want to define it: soul, blues, r&b – spectacular and engaging, present for some time now in the summer and winter programmes of Umbria Jazz.