Posted by TheoCroker Category: Category 1

Theo Croker, “Escape Velocity” (Okeh). Theo Croker has the bloodlines, that’s for sure. The trumpet player’s grandfather was no less than the late, great trumpet master Doc Cheatham. Croker’s got the musical bloodlines, too. Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater – who appears on this record on “Love From the Sun” – is a mentor of his. And he has a rare and unusual international background: He lived and worked in Shanghai for seven years. No less than Gary Bartz – one of his teachers at Oberlin – writes of Croker’s working band on this disc that it is performing a suite, not a catchall. “I have known Theo Croker and Kassa Overall, drummer, for many years,” writes Bartz, “and have had the pleasure of seeing them grow musically.” It is, then, a good eclectic jazz record whose melange of styles contain nary an ounce of pandering. Bartz is right about its strength lying in its existence as a coherent suite rather than a hapazard collection. ŒŒŒ out of four. (Jeff Simon)


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