Corey Wilkes & Abstract Pulse | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Corey Wilkes & Abstract Pulse Recommended Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Fri., July 10, 9:30 p.m. 2009

On his solo debut, last year’s Drop It (Delmark), Corey Wilkes proved he can sound good in any setting—his incendiary trumpet and voluptuous flugelhorn easily outshone the slick arrangements—but the setting was still pretty dismaying to listeners who fell for his playing with Roscoe Mitchell’s Note Factory or the Art Ensemble of Chicago. His brand-new second album, Cries From tha Ghetto (Pi), is more like it. Backed by the five-piece combo Abstrakt Pulse, Wilkes is equally thrilling on hard-bop burners, imploring ballads, and free-jazz rumbles. He knows his jazz history: when he locks in with tenor saxophonist Kevin Nabors on “First Mind,” it’s hard not to think of Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter, and every time I listen to the band’s version of Lester Bowie’s “Villa Tiamo” I imagine Bowie’s lab-coated ghost wearing a big approving smile. But Wilkes and crew are also clearing out their own musical space—a series of four brief pieces, all titled “Abstrakt,” incorporates tap dancing and textural electronic swoops, and the title track reconciles outward-bound soloing with a reggae groove. This is a release party. —Bill Meyer

Price: $15

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