Corey Wilkes - Drop It - Jazzgram
by Emilie Pons - November 2008
Miyanda Wilson, intriguing and natural, opens the album. Her very musical spoken acapella is soon accompanied by the trumpet (Wilkes) and the drums (Jeremy "Bean" Clemons), which softly introduce themselves. It is followed by a groovy "Sonata in the Key of Jack Daniels" and the delight begins, tranquil, profound, and at times experimenntal, almost. Experimentation might be what the album is all about, and yet it remains classically oriented, and smooth.
The title-track has a Herbie Hancock vibe to it, with Robert "Baabe" Irving III at the Fender Rhodes and Junius Paul doubling on acoustic and electric bass. It is free jazz that is occasionally borderline repetitve, like the recurrent theme of the album - a pleasant melody and rhythm, but did so many songs need it? Likewise, "Remy's revenge" might be too predictable rhythmically and melodically.
Among Wilkes' cohorts, saxophonist Jabari Liu who takes a hugely original tenor solo on "Ubiquitous Budafly" and Dee Alexander whose vocal contribution serves the experimental touch of the album very nicely need to be singled out.
"Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter", is one of the funniest and most enthralling songs ever. Dee Alexander's voice, ravishing, adjusts marvelously to a somewhat nonsensical theme (a mosquito's tweeter, or rather, what is 'funkier' than a mosquito's tweeter).
Wilkes takes risks, and it is much appreciated. Daniel Melnick's rendering of Wilkes's art in the liner notes is, in this regard, enlightening. - EMILIE PONS