Enter the AfroPhysicist - trumpeter/composer Theo Croker. Coming straight out of Leesburg, Florida by way of Shanghai, China, this bold young soul-jazz newcomer, grandson of New Orleans trumpet legend Doc Cheatham is fortified by tradition with no lack of contemporary electricity to propel him into the future.
Croker’s new album - AfroPhysicist - comes out on May 20, 2014 on Dee Dee Bridgewater‘s DDB Records via Sony Masterworks’ imprint OKeh Records. This is Croker’s third album and the inaugural release on Bridgewater’s label. His music literally shape-shifts without pause through 12 captivating selections.
AfroPhysicist includes three vocals sung by Bridgewater, each from different eras and genres, and all re-imagined in bold strokes: “Moody’s Mood For Love” (the classic James Moody instrumental vocalized by Eddie Jefferson in the `50s, then by George Benson with Patti Austin in the `80s); “Save Your Love For Me,” (made famous by Nancy Wilson with the Cannonball Adderley Quintet in 1962); and “I Can’t Help It,” originally introduced by Michael Jackson on 1979′s Off the Wall, and flipped here into a sizzling, chattering Afro-Cuban whirlwind.
Though Croker recorded two previous albums as a leader - The Fundamentals in 2007 and In the Tradition in 2009 – the time he spent in Shanghai prepared him to become the daring artist that Bridgewater was excited to unleash on her DDB label. “What was hot in New York didn’t matter,” says Croker. “We were far enough removed that nobody was judging us.”