Reggie Codrington – Vicarious Experience

Mar. 20, 2012

The story that comes with this polished saxophonist with the touch some liken to that of the late great Grover Washington Jr and Kim Waters (I could add Marion Meadows and a few others to that list, as well), is most uplifting and inspiring to say the least.

Reggie Codrington, the son of nationally known musician and bandleader Ray Codrington (who played with numerous soul legends, including Little Richard, Gladys Knight, and the late Jackie Wilson and is featured on this release as well) had to succumb to nine intense surgeries before the age of 13 as a result of a condition known as Ataxic Cerebral Palsy (ACP), a chronic condition that affects muscle coordination and depth perception. 

After the surgeries, this determined artist, who had dreamed of creating music and made that his mission since age 5, missed no strides in marching toward that goal. Listening to his latest, entitled Vicarious Experience (and he’s no newcomer to the studio, by the way, having released several other albums), presents enough proof why he was so determined to keep that dream alive. He holds such a good grasp on the very essence of contemporary jazz with his smooth, caressing reach and gentle melodies.

Forming a steadfast groove right from the opening track, Codrington holds fast to that vibe and rides it mercilessly through to the end, never letting up one bit except to go from up- to mid-tempo. It’s that kind of smooth, happy album. Lots of singular soprano (and other) sax statements, horn harmony, neat synth work, rhythm, and melody. The bounciness of tracks like “Getting to Know You” feel oh-so-familiar and the stride of tracks like “Consensual” makes one feel comfortably at home.

While maybe not decidedly exceptional or unique, except for “Divided Attention,” which does bear a World flavor and catchiness that, despite its title, should get your undivided attention, this project is simply good stuff from one who knows his stuff all too well. Nothing disappointing here. If you like it snappy, smooth, clear, and with step, Reggie Codrington’s got your number.  – Ronald Jackson