Trumpeter, producer, arranger, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Theo Croker's Star People Nation finds him at the helm of production, songwriting and performance, resulting in an intimate exploration of "the everyday rituals of blackness." A translation of Theo Croker's personal, spiritual and creative experience, Star People Nation is a self-reflective collection of provocative, powerfully passionate and boundary-busting compositions that speak to our greater, shared human existence. In the end, he creates a haven for creativity, spirituality, seduction and enlightenment throughout the album. "This is really supposed to inspire others to embrace themselves, their experiences and their community," says Croker. "As world citizens, we can all be a part of Star People Nation."
The grandson of the late trumpeter Doc Cheatham, and former student of legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, Theo Croker is an artist steeped in jazz tradition and he is rapidly becoming one of the hottest jazz artists of this era.
The Star People Nation package includes a 4-page booklet.
Star People Nation is a stylistically balanced album, deftly counterpoised between spacy '70s world fusion, modal jazz, alternative R&B, and forward-thinking hip-hop. It brings to mind classic works by Eddie Henderson, George Duke, and Donald Byrd, the latter of whom Croker was mentored by while a student at Oberlin College. The opening 'Have You Come to Stay' is a slowly rolling electro-space-mantra that emerges like an interstellar transmission from a hazy sparkle of keyboards before giving way to a cascade of overdubbed horn lines and two transcendent solos from Croker and Hall. Similarly spacy, 'Subconscious Flirtations & Titillations' finds Croker evoking a dreamy, Miles Davis-esque futurism as he contrasts his warm, breathy horn against bug-like digital motifs, sparkling piano, and an analog bass'n'drum rhythm. 'Wide Open' also has a Miles-ian quality, as Croker swims through dizzying underwater trap beats and aquamarine synths as he blows long bubble lines with his muted, EFX-laden trumpet. Elsewhere, he brings on board several guests including vocalist Rose Gold on the sensual 'Getaway Gold,' pianist ELEW on the minor-key 'The Messenger,' and Jamaican singer Chronixx, who helps elevate the atmosphere even higher on the socially conscious 'Understand Yourself,' as Croker mixes tropical club-jazz with African percussion and deep tropical vibes.
Musically adventurous, unafraid to test genre boundaries, and always ultra-stylish, trumpeter Theo Croker offers a musically enlightened take on funk, postbop, and fusion... Croker's two most recent albums, Escape Velocity (2016) and Star People Nation (2019), comprise original compositions that reference and meld elements from swing, postbop, hip-hop, soul, funk, and various West African strains. On both, Croker frames his golden tone and harmonically erudite lines with layers of textured keyboards, ethereal synths, bespoke samples, polyrhythmic drum beats, and insinuating voices in ways that illuminate their melodic core.
- 180g Audiophile Vinyl
- Mastered & mixed by Grammy Award winner Bob Power (D'angelo, Erykah Badu)
- 4-page booklet
- Printed innersleeve
- Have You Come To Stay
- Getaway Gold (Feat. Rose Gold)
- Subconscious Flirtations & Titillations
- Wide Open
- Portrait Of William
- Just Let It Ride
- The Messenger (Feat. ELEW)
- Alkebulan (Feat. Eric Harland & Kassa Overall)
- Understand Yourself (Feat. Chronixx)