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While the saxophone, keyboards, and guitar are still the most common lead voices heard in the contemporary jazz genre, more and more trumpeters are trying to claim a place for their instrument on the airwaves. While many turn to harmon mutes to make their voice softer and mellower, Leslie Drayton presents his wide-open trumpet and flugelhorn in a pleasing collection of all original material. Drayton occasionally enlists a saxophonist or a vibraphonist to share the lead lines, and on others, it's just piano, guitar, and Drayton's trumpet and programming. However, the programming is well done and sounds remarkably live (no cloying repetitive loops). You won't find any lead trumpet high note screaming or envelope-pushing adventurous soloing here, but neither will you find most of the tired musical cliches so prevalent in today's contemporary formulas, except perhaps for one tune with a rap and background vocalists. It's a comfortable and enjoyable listen from a trumpeter and composer we should hear from more often.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.