Corey Wilkes Drop It

Chicagoan Corey Wilkes is steadily developing into a trumpeter to be reckoned with. Capable of smoky lyricism or scorching abrasiveness, on Drop It, he covers a lot of ground: languid blues, funky hip-hop and hard-blowing jazz. Along for the ride is newcomer Chelsea Baratz (tenorist), a wonderful discovery. She has John Gilmore-type deliberateness to some of her phrases, a specificity of note choices that shows her to be an astute player not content to blow impressive but essentially unfelt licks. Her sinewy solo on "Remy’s Revenge” matches Wilkes’s assault blow for blow. If there’s a star here, besides the leader, it’s drummer Jeremy "Bean” Clemons. His grooves are merciless and his fills make the earth move. Wilkes is an assured composer, as evidenced by tunes such as "Touch” and "Sonata in the Key of Jack Daniels.” Drop It is a CD you can put on for pretty much any of your friends and watch them nod to the beat with pleasure. (Delmark)