The Derek Trucks Band
by Tony Engelhart
Review date: September 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
There are guitar players then there's Derek Trucks, who like Jeff Beck did with 'Wired', is making a musical statement rather than selling out to conform to any one genre. He continues with his unique hybrid of jazz, world with a pinch of blues on Soul Serenade. While the tracks for this latest record were recorded two years prior to Joyful Noise, Soul Serenade feels like a progression from the last disc. Trucks is clearly developing as an artist as he delves deeper into straight ahead jazz then ever before. Derek, unlike so many guitarists, doesn't rely on volume or speed but rather he plays in a style that is reminiscent of Coletrane, Parker, and Miles, making each note count. Another influence is obviously the Allman Brothers as you can pick out licks and musical phrasing of such classics as 'In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed' in some of Trucks jazz, blues and rock fusions Friend and mentor Greg Allman lends his soulful voice to a version of 'Drown In My Own Tears'; the only blues track on the cd. The remaining six cuts are experimental jazz as Derek adds an Eastern inspiration to many of these well crafted songs. Derek Trucks makes no compromises to reach commercial success and while he might be hard to categorize, he is a breath of fresh air whose talent and versatility will be appreciated for years to come.
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