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The Fundamentals

theo-croker-the-fundamentals
Release Date: January 1, 2007
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Released: Jan 01, 2007 ℗ 2007 Left Sided Music

Track Listing:

  1. INTERLUDE 1
  2. FOCUS
  3. INTERLUDE 3
  4. THE MIDDLE PASSAGE
  5. WITH YOU
  6. THE FUNDAMENTALS
  7. BLOOZE
  8. FALLING
  9. INTERLUDE 3
  10. LEFT SIDED

Personell:

Theo Croker / Trumpet, Arranger, Composer

Sullivan Fortner/ Piano, Stantwan Kendrick / Tenor Saxophone, Andre Murchison/ Trombone, Ulysses “Bim” Owens/Drums, Chris Mees/ Bass

 

Overview:

The grandson of the late Doc Cheatham, trumpeter Theo Croker‘s outstanding debut as a leader would have made his grandfather very proud. Assembling a group of presumably young lions (Crokerwas around 21 years old at the time of recording), the trumpeter wrote and arranged everything. Unlike many such projects, where a leader has the chops but isn’t quite ready to showcase so much original material at once, Croker displays a surprising gift for creating memorable pieces that hold one’s interest. The opener, “Interlude One,” features the only overdubs of the section, a chorus of trumpets playing an intricate progression that is based upon the harmonic progression of “The Fundamentals.” “Focus” is a wild post-bop vehicle with crisp unison lines and terrific percussion by drummer Ulysses Bim Owens. “Middle Passage” opens with an ominous vamp before developing into a slinky blues, highlighted by the leader’s expressive playing. But the acid test is playing at a slow tempo and Crokershines in “With You,” a masterful ballad that shows his obvious gifts as a thoughtful player and composer. Alto saxophonist Stantman Kendrick, trombonist Andre Murchison, pianist Sullivan Fortner, and bassist Chris Mees all provide excellent support throughout the session.

-Ken Dryden- AllMusic.com