The songs you will hear on this album are either my original compositions or works of other great composers that have influenced my playing and writing. Each song has significant meaning and showcases my roots, honoring my African heritage and the rich tradition of the Black church.
The album starts out with a wonderful tune entitled "Mahjong" written by one of America’s greatest composers, Wayne Shorter. The energy of this tune sets the stage for the entire record. I chose this tune in particular because of its beautiful, soaring, and fierce melodic structure. The harmonic and rhythmic connection between Wheeler and Wonsey is impeccable and allows everyone else to fit in effortlessly.
Loosely based on the changes of Wayne Shorter’s Nefertiti, "Teona" is a ballad named after and written for my lovely sister, with whom I am blessed to share my birthday.
God is the central and stabilizing force in my life. His love is truly amazing. He has and will continue to sustain me through all the hardships and challenges of this life. "Yeshua" is a song I wrote dedicated to the true image and characteristics of Christ.
"Waiting for Aiden" was written for my first born son who we lost in 2015 due to a tragic accident. Although he is no longer here with us in the physical sense, we carry our love for him in our hearts and know we will see him again one day. Until that day, we wait.
"Tears In Heaven" is written by Eric Clapton, and arranged by myself and Yoichi Uzeki. Listening to the lyrics, written by Clapton, whose own son died tragically, made the decision to record this song an easy one. I am dedicating this song to every grieving parent who is living with a piece of their heart missing.
Another original composition, "My Inner Circle" is dedicated to my closest family and friends, those with whom I share my most personal thoughts. Thank you for your constant and unwavering friendship and support. I love you.
Peace and love!
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