Lilli Lewis Project

We Belong
(Louisiana Red Hot)

Pianist/vocalist Lilli Lewis and her group have an amiability to their sound that can’t be denied. And We Belong is a well-crafted work that just refuses to come off as overly precious.

While bounding about in a meshing of genres where Lewis’ soulful, r&b-tinged vocals meet impressive arrangements on a panoply of songs, her New Orleans-bred chameleonic dexterity gets brought to the fore. Moving from the afrobeat of “Interlock” to the gospel dirge of “Coretta’s Song” and then the straight-up blues of “Anybody Anymore” all feel like natural turns. “Warm And Gentle People” is a particularly ambitious song, more epic in scale than the other selections here—more narrative and jazzlike in form than the somewhat conventional r&b-influenced tunes.

For a debut album, We Belong is a substantive articulation of the Lilli Lewis Project’s voice. But it also lacks a cohesiveness that veteran ensembles so effortlessly display, despite the recording affably reflecting the soundworld of that multimodal music city down in Louisiana.



On Sale Now
May 2021
Shabaka Hutchings
Look Inside
Subscribe
Print | Digital | iPad