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Scott Wilkie: Boundless

With an anthemic style recalling uptempo ’70s popsters, keyboardist Scott Wilkie offers up sunny grooves and cinematic hooks on Boundless (Narada 72438-47025-2-6; 49:47). There’s a touch of Michael McDonald in the chord changes running through “Those,” and a hint of Hall & Oates echoed in the uptempo “Sporty!” with its groovy-pop synth, but Wilkie keeps things interesting with a light touch and easygoing, emotive play. His considerable skills are shown best on soulful pieces like “Sailcats” (featuring John Patitucci on bass), which spotlights seamless finger rolls on acoustic and electric piano. Another highlight, “Chasing the Dream,” has the pumping melodic piano motion of a “Reeling in the Years,” but changes to a jazzier swing mid-stream for a nice effect. There are over-arranged moments (“Rivertown”) which don’t work quite as well, but overall, Wilkie’s work is a welcome, somewhat nostalgic pop tonic.

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