If anyone has not come across Wild Card’s music, then I would strongly advise you to check the band out. On their last album, “Life Stories” out now on Top End Records, Clément Régert (classical and electric guitars), Sophie Alloway (drums), Andrew Noble (B3 Hammond organ) prove once again they are tenacious, fun and, most of all, talented.
There are a couple of cover versions which are well interpreted and arranged, but the main core of the album is made out of compositions by the accomplished Régert (apart from the bonus track, “Herman’s Hoedown” which is composed by Noble).
“Life Stories” which defies gravity by spinning from funk, soul, jazz as well as afro/latin sounds, is good because it does not just offer a great variety of moods, but because it was recorded “live”, “all the musicians were playing in the same studio at the same time” and it is “overdub free”.
I loved tracks like “Better remorse than regret” which features the amazing Denys Baptiste on saxophone or “La Parenthèse enchantée” with its fluidity and inventiveness and super alto sax player Jim Knight.
“Life Stories” does more than what it says on the tin: it depicts a world we ALL would recognise, one full of sorrow, of happiness and joy, of doubt, some of the basic but vital components that make life what it is: a mystery as well as a challenge.
My favourite track is the beautiful “Risky business” featuring cool harmonica player, Adam Glasser whom I have had the pleasure to see play live in the past and the eminent solos of Graeme Flowers on trumpet!
I have often referred to some of the albums I have written about or reviewed in the past as “little gems”, well, “Life Stories” is definitely one!
An authentic microcosm of super talents, all making exceptional music together.
CD Review by senior writer: Erminia Yardley
“Life stories” album cover. Artwork by Him You Ten
YT Video: Clement Regert