Since its beginnings, jazz music has been anything but stagnant. It’s well known among players and fans alike that the music flows with the times, keeping one foot planted in the tradition and the other turned toward new horizons. There are many young stars of the genre who exemplify this balance in their work, one of which is the multi-talented Theo Croker. The trumpeter, producer, and arranger has a new album on the way entitled Star People Nation and in an exclusive with EARMILK, he is releasing the LP’s second single “The Messenger.”
The track is a nod to one of the most elemental tenets of jazz: swing. Croker states, “How we swing our quarter note is the basis of all black music. It’s the beat, and this song was made to reflect the power in that swing.” With a gliding horn melody, soulful and imaginative solos from Croker, saxophonist Anthony Ware, and guest pianist ELEW, as well as mixing and mastering from the legendary Bob Power, “The Messenger” pays tribute to the gospel of swing without sacrificing any sense of modernity. Croker penned the tune as a personal tribute to the late Elvin Jones, which was part of the reason he brought in ELEW, who was a member of the drum giant’s last band. “The Messenger” is a testament to Croker’s firm standing within the realm of jazz and shows that his upcoming album will undoubtedly be one to remember.