Music Review – Highest Wish By Bill Ortiz

 

Bill Ortiz

Highest Wish

Left Angle Records

Highest Wish cover art

Music is the form of expression which resides deep within our soul. Like John Lee Hooker always said, “The blues in you and its gotta come out”. Bill Ortiz’s latest recording, Highest Wish  unearths our soul of musical expression through his unique spiritual healing voice.

Carlos Santana recently stated before a live audience, “Our highest wish is to touch your heart and remind you that you are significant.”

Tommy Anthony, Carlos Santana, Bill Ortiz and Jeff Cressman

Bill Ortiz responds to that wish by creating spiritual voices through his gift, the trumpet, which resonates inside the music of our heart.

Highest Wish begins this welcome dialogue with the song, “Ha-Ya (Means Life)”. “Ha-Ya” is a spirited romp with vocals by Luqman Frank and Omega Rae who coax out just the right positive accenture from Bill Ortiz’s trumpet.

The song, “We Are What We Are” starts as a rap by Casual then effortlessly evolves into skin-deep jazzy, r&b  rhythms. The interplay between Casual and Bill’s horn keeps us focused on the relevance of the lyrics. The message is we are the same affected by the agony and pain of social injustice.  Luqman Frank and Femi Andredes lend vocal help to push that message along.

The track, “Highest Wish (Phoenix Black Mix)” featuring Zumbi of Zion I is a plaintive melody with the recognized wisps of a Carlos Santana guitar-lke ending.

“Since You’ve Been Gone” is a testament to a Mother’s memory. Lugman Frank invokes his best vocal groove on this number. He and Bill Ortiz become locked in a strong harmony. Together they ask her return to fill the void inside a son’s respectful heart.

“Winter In America” smartly acknowledges the Godfather of Hip-Hop, Gil Scott-Heron with lead vocalist Tony Lindsay (Santana) trading off lyrics with “The Grouch” on vocals and rap. The track  is an ingenious remix that commences with Bill Ortiz’s horn compelling us to take heed and listen. The track is gutsy and edgy. It crystallizes our attention on what is really going on in the streets across America.

Rest in Peace, Gil-Scott

Without you the revolution would not

“I Still Believe” is another Phoenix Black remix of an inspirational track which features Linda Tillery invoking a charismatic spoken word rendition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech from Oslo, Norway (1964). Zumbi of  Zion I complements and embellishes the spoken word with rap as the truth rings out a poetic wisdom that encircles every heart that listens with historic humility.


“Do Your Thing” is an Issac Hayes song originally found on the Shaft Soundtrack (1978) as a 19:24 minute opus. Bill Ortiz’s R&B cover flows smoothly through the co-operation of Santana veterans  Tony Lindsay on vocals, Andy Vargas (samples/drums programming), Chester Thompson (C.T.) on organ and Bill Ortiz (trumpet, flugelhorn).  I can visualize the camaraderie in the studio when this track was laid down. Listen as Tony excitedly sings, “C.T. play for me, C’mon” and does he ever 😉

This is my favorite track on Highest Wish due to the sizzle and infectious groove it achieves. Santana fans will gravitate to this track and it will help attract a new base of fans for Bill Ortiz. This is a good choice for radio play if singles are still a viable option in promoting an artist’s music.

“Don’t Make Me Wait” is a danceable soul ditty that will have you moving your shoulders and tapping your feet. Cait La Dee is the featured vocalist who livens it up and in turn is joined by K-Maxx with a soulful rap interplay. Bill plays his horn enthusiastically like a salt and pepper shaker seasoning the song which just the right flavah.

“Full Circle” the Andy Vargas remix takes us out. It is the perfect instrumental to end the recording as we sail into the night, more at peace than we began this sonic journey.

 

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Bill Ortiz – Highest Wish

Our good friend Bill Ortiz just announced his latest full-release CD, Highest Wish is available for pre-order. If you act now you can get a limited edition signed copy by Bill Ortiz for $15. Pre-orders will be shipping on or about August 15th.

There is also a digital album pre-order option for $9.99. Pre-order of Highest Wish including immediate download of 1 track in your choice of MP3 320, FLAC, or other formats. A link to the complete album will be emailed to you the moment it’s released. You can pre-order this option here.

Visit the Buy/Share Link on Bill’s Highest Wish page here. You can also get an advanced preview of Highest Wish feat. Zumbi of Zion I (Phoenix Black Remix) on that page. It’s tight, check it out.

Or if you’d like click on Bill’ s widget on the right hand side of this blog 😉

Highest Wish officially drops on September 4th.

Highest Wish cover art

I will be writing a review about Highest Wish for Bill on this blog soon.  My wife and I look forward to catching up with Mr. Ortiz at the Santana East Coast shows with the Allman Brothers Band coming up later this month.

Bill Ortiz is the first artist I did an extensive interview for on this music blog in 2009. It was conducted as a companion piece for his first recording, From Where I StandWe have been collaborating ever since.

I covered Bill Ortiz’s EP release Winter In America earlier this year. Highest Wish expands greatly upon Winter in America. 

So stay tuned more to follow about Bill Ortiz and Highest Wish.