Elan Trotman -- Tropicality

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Elan Trotman — Tropicality

Jan. 18, 2013

Caribbean saxman Elan Trotman brings to us on Tropicality, his sixth and latest solo album (to be released on Feb. 19), the very rich and tasty melodies of the lands of warmth and serenity. Not only does this CD have character, it has charm and presence that take you gently by the hand and lead you into a world of music that is as noted for these very melodies as it is for its palatable food.

In addition to bringing forth such alluring tracks, he arms the album with some of the talented heavies in the world of contemporary jazz: U-Nam, Peter White, Jeff Lorber, Alex Al, Luis Conte, DC, Paul Brown, Lenny Castro, Terri Lyne Carrington, Lin Rountree, Nick Colionne, and others. They each contribute a bright and delicate sway to this cultural delight in their own way, while Trotman lures you to the islands with the magnificence of his sax and some flute action.

Coming right at you with the reggae-colored Stevie Wonder track “Master Blaster,” Trotman moves and grooves through this project with such fluidity and pride for his home and culture. As he says, “This album is very special to me as I’ve always wanted to showcase my Caribbean heritage through my music. We ‘islanders’ are happy people by nature and that quality has always been evident by the way our music grooves.”

When you listen to his interpretation of tunes like the previously mentioned “Master Blaster” and Bob Marley’s “Wait in Vain,” in addition to his rendering of his own mid-tempo, honey-toned “Always With You,” co-written with and arranged by Peter White and DC, you clearly hear what he means.

Other tracks of note include the catchy, mellow groovin’ “Sunset in Paradise;” the exotically seductive “Danca Ku Mi (Dance With Me),” a tune punctuated by the soft vocals of Emanuela Nadia Alves; “Funkalypso” with Terri Lyne Carrington and Lin Rountree working magic on drums and trumpet, respectively. You don’t need much more than the track’s title to tell you where this track goes, but the smooth merger between the two styles is still more than worth mentioning, as is the great horn action here.

This is a solid project loaded with great tracks from beginning to end. It has drive, exoticism, and more.

Trotman will launch the album on with concerts in the three cities in which it was recorded (Barbados, Boston, and Los Angeles), beginning on Jan. 20 at the Prime Minister’s home of Illaro Court in Barbados with Jeff Lorber as special guest. Then, it’s off to Scullers Jazz Club in Boston and Spaghettini’s near L.A.  Those who can get to any of these locations would do well to treat yourself to what is bound to be a totally satisfying experience. – Ronald Jackson

Note: At the time of posting, no Amazon MP3 sampler was available. When it becomes available, we will post it here.

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