In keeping with our tradition of the last four years, we brought in the new year with jazz. Corey Wilkes, an amazing trumpet player (with carefully controlled, nuanced urgings in his music) and his quintet including Zabil El Zabar as percussionist was mesmerizing and compelling. Wilkes has a clean Miles Davis style. Zabar pushes the limits rhythmically and vocally, a loosed spirit clearly in his element in the tension of improvised jazz. The piano player, Robert “Baabe” Irving III, was once the music director for Miles Davis and his skills on the keyboard equally dextrous. Meaghan McNeal sang vocals with unique stylings and contrasts between almost whispered notes and belted loud skat singing. The high energy and commitment of these players was astounding, creative, and compelling.
The snippets of sound below are only a tantalizing taste of the musicality of Corey Wilkes and his quintet. We hope to hear a lot more of them.