American born trumpeter/composer Theo Croker, is hailed as one the great promises of Black American Music (BAM). “Star People Nation” (his last LP, released in 2019 on Sony Masterworks) isn’t a sonic departure of his critically acclaimed release “Escape Velocity”, but a continuation towards a much grander musical legacy that is pushing within the realms of futuristic melody, rhythm, and vibratory enlightenment. “Star People Nation” is an experimental nativity taking listeners on a journey through a dark, cosmic, eloquent, yet masterful work to date. Serving as a sacred marker, from a visually motivated artist revealing an ability to gleam us with evolution beyond jazz familiar, “Star People Nation” is now in motion.
As the grandson of the late trumpeter Doc Cheatham, and former student of legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, trumpeter Theo Croker is an artist steeped in jazz tradition. Well-versed in the swing, bop, and modal styles of acoustic jazz, Croker’s own music reveals a love of organic funk, soul, and gooey, groove-oriented hip-hop. It’s a vital amalgam that would have pleased the forward-thinking Byrd, whose own ’70s funk-jazz albums are an obvious touchstone for Croker.