»I don't like the word jazz. It frightens potential listeners away,« says trumpeter Theo Croker. His music certainly has nothing to do with pop ballads and gentle brushing of the percussion, but jazz can be so much more than that. And hardly any musician is better suited to prove that than visionary instrumentalist Theo Croker, one of a select group of young Afro-American jazzmen who transport the spiritual approach, the Afrofuturism and critical socio-political consciousness of the 60s into the present.
His music videos are reminiscent of action films and spaceships, but the subject matter gets down to the nitty-gritty. During coronavirus, the Florida-born artist chose to withdraw from public life in order to reflect on his life in a state of standstill, and the outcome was a pair of albums dealing with his African heritage and his Black identity.
Just a few months after his successful album »BLK2LIFE // A Future Past«, Croker released »Love Quantum« in June 2022: part two of his musical reappraisal of the history, present and future of Black music culture in the USA: »It's also a homage to all the different levels of love,« Theo Croker says about the new album. »I want to show how powerful this energy is for us as people.« Musically speaking, he converts this energy into a perfect mix of gospel, blues, jazz, soul and funk – a contemporary sound that leaves all genre boundaries behind.
Theo Croker is presenting his new album in the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall as part of the »Focus Afrofuturism«.
Theo Croker: LOVE QUANTUM (Soliloquy)
Space is the place! Afrofuturism emerged as the antithesis to »white« science fiction and as a vision of a »black« future in far-off worlds. Hip performers such as Theo Croker or Sons of Kemet follow in the footsteps of jazz guru Sun Ra.
Theo Croker trumpet
Michael King piano
Eric Wheeler bass
Shekwoaga Ode drums
D’Leau art & sound
Theo Croker appears courtesy of Masterworks, a label of Sony Music Entertainment.