The feelgood reincarnation of Warren Wolf

A wonderfully warm tribute to his late mother here from vibes master Warren Wolf, jazz fans the world over know from the Christian McBride band here on a record he steers so positively along his own compositional lines. Such bright voicings and the …

Published: 19 Jan 2020. Updated: 2 years.

A wonderfully warm tribute to his late mother here from vibes master Warren Wolf, jazz fans the world over know from the Christian McBride band here on a record he steers so positively along his own compositional lines.

Such bright voicings and the way the ensemble just flies is remarkable, the 40-year-old Baltimore player tapping 1990s R&B and soul along the way for flavour. Warren on the album is with drummer Carroll “CV” Dashiell III, keyboardist Brett Williams from Pittsburgh known for his work with Marcus Miller, bassist Richie Goods, guitarist Mark Whitfield guesting on a couple of tracks, singers Imani-Grace Cooper and Marcellus “Bassman” Shepard.

Wolf says in publicity for the album: ''“This is just an album about love and feel-good music. At this point in my career, I just wanted to show that I can be versatile in many different styles. I plan to continue to grow and play all the wonderful music that has shaped me as a musician today.” Look for the album from which 'For Ma' is taken, Reincarnation, to be released by Mack Avenue, on 28 February.

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Ted ahead

On Impulse, a label even more, to some, revered than Blue Note from You Already Know to be released at the end of February: here's Ted Poor, a drummer hardly known beyond his local scene in the US and more widely for cult appearances with Joris …

Published: 18 Jan 2020. Updated: 2 years.

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On Impulse, a label even more, to some, revered than Blue Note from You Already Know to be released at the end of February: here's Ted Poor, a drummer hardly known beyond his local scene in the US and more widely for cult appearances with Joris Roelofs eg on Amateur Dentist. I guess that lack of profile will change immediately certainly among serious jazz heads hearing this.

This track has instant classic written all over it. Simple as that.

Saxophonist Andrew D'Angelo with him featured here on 'Only You' hinting very slowly at Coltrane changes in the laconic foreplay in a scrap of tune that summons the atmosphere of 'Afro Blue' very tangentially when it unfolds (and underlined as piano eventually joins ''goes fourth'' before D'Angelo free-cries up sky high) was amazing last year on Gold and he has a soul mate here, the two have been playing together for years, the open Ornettian setting perfectly intertwining between a blues connotation of free-jazz and shards of more structured freebop run together in an accessible, creative swirl.

Piecing together a few bits: Poor grew up in Rochester, New York state, and went to the Eastman School of Music. Early on in his career he apparently hit it off with Ben Monder and joined the guitarist's band.

You Already Know was produced by Blake Mills (Perfume Genius, John Legend, Alabama Shakes) who has got the imprint New Deal going with Universal's Verve and recorded at Sound City in Los Angeles. Poor told Drumhead mag: ''The record is very much the duets, but we’ve added some strings to a couple pieces, piano and different odds and ends, providing some harmony, elevating moments within the duets. It’s been a really interesting process.”

On the drummer's own website he quips regarding folk [remember the corny old ad copy from years ago ''The New Wave of Folk is on Impulse!'' incidentally?]: “It’s more the idea of music as oral tradition – music as song” and describes the style he adopts on the record as ''a loosely propulsive, almost trip-hoppy rhythm''. Other tracks include D’Angelo composition 'New Wonder' while 'To Rome' features Andrew Bird on violin and Blake Mills on guitar. 'United,' adds overdubbed strings.