280

Corey Wilkes: Drop It

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Corey Wilkes: Drop It
As the man who took on Lester Bowie's mantle in the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Corey Wilkes is clearly not averse to a challenge. He's also a musician with an above average grasp of where the music's come from and a clear idea of where he wants to take it. As a trumpet player he's already got a lot of what it takes, a personal way of phrasing and an acute ear for a melodic line, and on this his debut disc he sets out his stall while putting down a marker for the future.

That said, there is a particular sheen to some of the music here which makes it a little anonymous, as on "Sonata In The Key Of Jack Daniels" where both Wilkes and tenor saxophonist Chelsea Baratz's telling solos are undermined somewhat by their backing and the fade does little to enhance the appeal of the piece.

The following title track is a better indication of how widely Wilkes has listened and learned with his deft use of electronic alterations on a sound that's indicative of a musician for whom the term Renaissance man might have been invented. Jabari Liu's alto sax is also telling here, the work of another musician with his own thing going on. "Remy's Revenge" takes things a little further in the best possible way, the music coming together in a way that nails the groove and compelling solos. Wilkes is all over his horn on this one, seemingly gambolling in the wide open spaces like a man who's undergone some form of rebirth.

"Searchin'" pulls off the not inconsiderable feat of sounding both contemporary and creative, and it might well be telling that Baratz joins Wilkes in the front line again. There's something quietly compelling about the way their respective sounds seem to merge, and the intimacy of their unisons is a thing in itself. Robert "Baabe" Irving III's piano on this one is compellingly sparse and it has the pleasingly odd effect of lending the music greater depth than it might otherwise have possessed.

There is however the impression of too much ground being covered here, though that could be down to nothing more pressing than "first album syndrome." Certainly the impression abides that Wilkes is a man with an infinite future in terms of where he chooses to go next, and in skillfully avoiding the hype. So far he's already proved himself adept at valuing the music far more than the marketing. In times like these that's no small achievement.

Track Listing

Trumpet Player; Sonata In the Key of Jack Daniels; Drop It; Remy's Revenge; Prelude: Touch; Touch; Return 2 Sender; Searchin'; Ubiqitous Budafly; Funkier Than a Mosquita's Tweeter; Drop It (Live).

Personnel

Corey Wilkes: trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet, percussion (10); Jabari Liu: alto sax (3, 7, 9, 10, 11); Chelsea Baratz: tenor sax (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10); Kevin Nabors: tenor sax (3, 5, 6), percussion (10); Robert "Baabe" Irving III: electric piano, piano; Junius Paul: acoustic & electric bass; Jeremy "Bean" Ciemons: drums; Miyanda Wilson: spoken word (1); Scott Hesse: guitar (3); Dee Alexander: vocals ( 9, 10); Justin Dillard: organ (10).

Album information

Title: Drop It | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Earth
Earth
Dave Liebman
Read Urban(e)
Urban(e)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra
Read Hiding Place
Hiding Place
Mark Murphy, Folk Artist
Read The Truce
The Truce
Markus Reuter
Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read In Igma
In Igma
Pedro Melo Alves
Read Blood Moon
Blood Moon
Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.