When We Find Ourselves Alone is a remarkable work that moves well past stylistic boundaries.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
You know the name...you may not be as familiar with the resume. Rodney Whitaker has played or recorded with such luminaries as Bruce Barth, Terence Blanchard and the great Diana Krall just to drop but a handful of names. This varied background and willingness to look past the accepted boundaries of what is considered traditional improvisational music has led to what I refer to as the natural evolution of a genuine artist.
Whitaker is joined by long time friends pianist Bruce Barth, saxophonist Antonio Hart, and drummer Greg Hutchinson. Keeping things all in the family, daughter Rockelle Forte joins the all star collective on five tunes. Highlights are numerous and include the vibrant "When You Played With Roy." The duet of "Autumn Leaves" with daughter reinvents and pushes the lyric lines and the tune moves to a soulful swing. "The World Fall Away" is a somewhat melancholy swinger where Antonio Hart leads the harmonic charge and this may be the key to the success of this dynamic release. This is a collective, not a bass player and some buddies. Each member of the band contributes their own unique voice.
There is a special sound that Detroit can call their own, 21st century soul jazz. Traditionalists have plenty of enjoy and those seeking that new sound should make a discover that will welcome a new generation of fan to improvisational music.
Tracks: The World Falls Away; When You Played With Roy; Autumn Leaves; Jammerson's Lullaby; You Go To My Head; Invitation; Freedom Day; A Mothers Cry; Mr. Magic; When We Find Ourselves Alone; Lost In You Again.