Derek Trucks: Footprints




The Derek Trucks Band


The Derek Trucks Band (Landslide)

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Derek Trucks (guitar),

Gary Gazaway (trumpet, flugelhorn), Bill McKay (Hammond B-3 organ, Roland electric piano, synthesizer, clavinet, Wurlitzer piano), Todd Smallie (bass), Yonrico Scott (drums, percussion)


Composed by Wayne Shorter


Recorded: Maurice, LA, September 30-October 4, 1996


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Derek Trucks's version of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" provides ample proof of Trucks's designation as one of Rolling Stone's 100 Best Guitarists. The production is clear. The recording contains tasty jamming and group interplay that emphasizes the individual parts being played and the actual sound of the tracking room. There is no doubt as to whose showcase this is; Trucks is clearly up front as he slices and dices his way through several hot, dominating solos. He single-handedly drives the rest of the band into hysteria, as Todd Smallie and Yonrico Scott's rhythm section gradually heats up and Trucks's playing consistently burns. Both Smallie's animated bass and Scott's hard-hitting, fleet-footed percussion seem to solo alongside Trucks, yet they never shift the focus away from him. The musical subtlety and grace places all three of the players in the top tier of musicians, and while Trucks's fluid instrumental tangos dance around the bass and drums with a youthful ferocity yet to be challenged by anyone, he amazingly manages to transcend quite a few of his influences on the cut. Add in obvious reverence to the Shorter original, and the results of this progressive jazz track are definitely worth investigating.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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