Corey Wilkes: Rain




Corey Wilkes (trumpet, flugelhorn)


Cries From Tha Ghetto (Pi Recordings PI29)

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Corey Wilkes (trumpet, flugelhorn), Kevin Nabors (tenor sax), Scott Hesse (guitar), Junius Paul (bass), Isaiah Spencer (drums), Jumaane Taylor (tap dance).

Recorded: March 17, May 15, October 13, 2008


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Corey Wilkes currently occupies the sacred Lester Bowie chair for the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and given this young trumpeter’s already-solid whack jazz credentials, no one is going to blithely lump him with the legions of Miles wannabes out there. That’s probably why when makes a rare direct nod towards the Prince of Darkness, it sounds so compelling.

Wilkes does just that for his placid blue ballad “Rain.” A beautifully doleful song that recollects Davis’ mid-sixties tone poems “Circle” and “Fall,” Wilkes displays a rare mastery of the mute, using it to make his notes weep and ring clear. The composition itself is delicately constructed in such a way that the notes flow in a stream-of-conscientiousness kind of way, but remain sumptuously lyrical. And so, while Wilkes might prefer rougher edges in his music, “Rain” reveals his softer side in a way that tops many jazz musicians who’ve built their careers on that side.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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