Derrick Gardner & the Jazz Prophets,
A Ride to the Other Side
(Owl, 2008)

Derrick Gardner plays the trumpet like I've never heard. Skilled music critics have better descriptions for his stylings than I have, including: intelligent, soulful, moving past the notes into higher realms.

All this reviewer can say is that I enjoy the music. A Ride on the Other Side is progressive jazz that's both listenable and moving. If you are not a huge trumpet fan, the rest of the instrumental backing is still very good. The ensemble cast is not one to be taken lightly. I think "Jazz Prophets" is not at all a bad choice for the group name.

I've listened to the CD a few times now because I really don't "get" jazz on the first pass enough to describe it. Each time there's a new note that strikes me. I'd normally at this juncture mention a favorite song, but honestly, I suspect that will change when I listen to the CD again.

He's worked with some of jazz's best; right now, he's on tour with Harry Connick Jr., but the rest of the list includes Count Basie Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Frank Foster, Jon Faddis, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Rufus Reid, Clark Terry, Kenny Baron, Stefon Harris and James Moody, etc.

He also teaches other musicians to play. He's recently become a member of the jazz faculty at Michigan State University as assistant professor of jazz trumpet.

Ride to the Other Side is different and well worth listening to if you enjoy progressive trumpet jazz with solid instrumental backing behind.

review by
Becky Kyle

19 July 2008

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