Good Lord…she’s not kidding around. This album, Lit from Within, has everything you want. Talk about a banquet!
Leticia has reason to celebrate in faith and gratitude. She suffered a physical setback, leaving her hemiplegic—unable to speak—for quite some time. Enter Steve Jankowski who went to work with Leticia on her Transitions project. He has written and arranged most all of the horn sections. He also adds his considerable horn-playing talents to the album.
Aaron Graves added his piano skills and arrangements. Steve Beskrone added his bass talents and Leon Jordan contributed his masterful drum skills. Richard Rucker is the virtuosic guitarist and Deb Lyons added her vocals in duet with Leticia. Doug DeHays is the multi-talented horn and flute performer.
The 11 tracks on the album are drawn from many sources with all of their influences, from Luther Vandross to Bruce Springsteen to Harold Arlen. Leticia has taken them all and shaped them into the Jazz-Gospel she promised us without fail.
One of the finest moments on the album is that duet with Deb Lyons on the mash-up of Happy Days and Get Happy. This is one of the most wonderful vocal performances of the year.
Throughout the album the horns are enough to make Gabriel start practicing more. The backing vocals are warm and inspiring. Graves’ piano work is at home in the Church and the Club.
But then there is Leticia. She is an inspiration in herself but her message and her delivery are absolutely wonderful. I wish we had sung like this when I was a kid in church.
Leticia Walker’s Lit from Within is performed with the power of praise. The gratitude is wondrous and the sincerity of her message is overwhelming. The band means it as much as she does. This album is truly another testament.
~Travis Rogers, Jr. is The Jazz Owl