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New Music: Theo Croker

Trumpeter Theo Croker is releasing an album, “AfroPhysicist,” tomorrow. Croker — here is his Facebook page — is the grandson of the great Doc Cheatham. The album was produced by Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Croker’s site had a bio, which apparently no longer is posted. Here is part of it:

Theo Croker was born and raised in Leesburg, in central Florida, on July 18, 1985. Leesburg was not exactly a hotbed of music, and Theo wasn’t exactly born with a horn in his hand. He first picked one up at the age of eleven, after a visit to New York City where he heard his grandfather play at Sweet Basil. (Doc Cheatham died the following year, at 92, in 1997.) Theo continued to listen to Doc’s recordings. “He had a very appealing sound, the strength behind it was always a melody,” Theo says.

“I would just sit in my room and play my trumpet for hours without knowing what I was doing. I would slowly teach myself new notes and play along with recordings of my grandfather and other greats. I noticed the I could fit in with what I was hearing harmonically.”

It was at a memorial service for his grandfather when he had his first chance to perform for jazz-savvy audience. “I was only twelve years old, but the way the music touched people and the way it made me feel was enough to set me for life. I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

Above is “Transcend,” Croker composition featuring Croker, Kassa Overall (drums), Sullivan Fortner (Piano), & Chris Mees (Bass).