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Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Sep 29th, 2016

Theo Croker: Escape Velocity

crockerTheo Croker
Escape Velocity
(DDB Productions)

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Theo Croker’s third album begins with a track entitled “Raise Your Vibrations,” a manifesto indicative of the spiritual direction of the album. He acknowledges music’s power to trigger deeper feelings when, over mesmerizing horns and crashing cymbals, he asks his listeners: prepare to “reclaim your inner peace so that you may attain your reason for coming into existence – the enjoyment of life.” Croker delivers a fresh sound that breaks down barriers between jazz, funk, and R&B. On the track “This Could Be (For the Traveling Soul),” you’ll find a healthy dose of funk influence with bass and trumpet interweaving melodies to create a warm groove. Croker’s trumpet flutters effortlessly through space, the supporting instrumentation doing its best to follow, the melodies at times fluctuating between discord and harmony. He plays the trumpet with a confidence that suggests he’s guided by some extraterrestrial force propelling him toward new patterns and rhythms. On “We Can’t Breathe,” he delivers a solo in which he takes a shorter range of notes and combines them in a manner that is just as inventive as the patterns he derives from wider ranges. “Love from the Sun” features vocals from album producer Dee Dee Bridgewater with a message of inclusion and togetherness: “Let’s bring love to our planet/Erase the borders, expand it.” Using jazz, the universally understood medium of expression, Escape Velocity encourages us to break down divisions by embracing music, the art form that mirrors life in that no matter what chaos is bubbling on the surface, there’s always a steady rhythm lying beneath it to guide us.

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Theo Croker: Escape Velocity