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Drop It

Corey Wilkes

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Album Review

Trumpeter Corey Wilkes has established himself as one of the best creative improvising trumpeters — if not the best — in the modern era. His stunning work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Kahil El'Zabar's bands has cemented his place as the rising star on his instrument. This debut recording for Wilkes reflects his interest in the rhythm & blues style, both retro and contemporary. The presence of keyboardist Robert Irving III has a lot to do with how the music is conceived rhythmically, having been a nephew and bandmate in the late-period groups of Miles Davis. But as a composer and arranger, Wilkes holds close allegiance to the wonderfully inventive horn charts written by Herbie Hancock during the time of his combo that recorded the groundbreaking Mwandishi. Wilkes is also respectful of elders like Langston Hughes, as he adapts "The Trumpet Player" with the words of Hughes recited by Miyanda Wilson into a bluesy stew stirred by bassist Junius Paul. Hip-hop funk identifies the light swagger of "Sonata in the Key of Jack Daniels," while the hip, funky title cut internally shimmers via the Fender Rhodes of Irving, with an additional 11-minute live version plus vocals included as a closing track. The merging of old and new school is most evident on the lower light groove of "Touch," quite reminiscent of Benny Golson's classic "Killer Joe," while "Remy's Revenge" is a harder-edged two-chord modal number and "Ubiquitous Butterfly" is an out-and-out stomper. With alto saxophonist Jabari Liu and tenor saxophonist Chelsea Baratz, Wilkes conjures the breezy yet potent Mwandishi sound on the bright funk of "Return 2 Sender" and the neat tick-tock rhythms urging "Searchin'" onward. There's a sole R&B pop tune sung by Dee Anderson in a manner similar to Fontella Bass about a dirty old man, and seems unnecessary. A CD with mixed results that still holds much promise for the exceptional Wilkes, this purposeful recording may very well find a commercial audience well outside of the one Wilkes already owns. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Drop It, Corey Wilkes
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 17 June 2008

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