We should not
underestimate the role of the flute in smooth jazz. Beside so
prominent musicians like Alexander Zonjic, Nestor Torres, James Moody
or Hubert Laws we can listen to numerous artists like Tim Weisberg,
Praful, Darren Motamedy, Paul Rozmus and more. Today I write about a
special flutist, the young Dwayne Kerr. Dwayne is since 1998 a member
of Eryka Badu's band and toured with her throughout the whole world.
collaboration with such a great star like Eryka Badu might be
satisfying and stimulating, the sideman is always standing in the
Kerr played on Eryka's latest CD,
Worldwide Underground, and her previous CD, Mama's Gun, on Motown
Records. A starting point for his debut album Flutation (2003) and his
newest album Higher Calling is Eryka's support by contributing
as special guest musician.
“I use my flute as a
vehicle for my musical expression without regard of the usual
limitations expected from a flutist,” Kerr said about his debut album.
“I wanted this CD to take the flute through a range of musical
expression. The listener gets an emotional experience that goes beyond
me playing the flute.”
Following the signs
of time his newest effort Higher Calling presents an artist who
is familiar with popular contemporary jazz and the strong influence of
It's no wonder that
Kerr selected as first track Bill Wither's mega hit Ain't No
Sunshine from 1971. Kerr performs the song with tremendous feeling
and vibration. He is using the multilayer technique with a rhythm part
similar to beat boxing and a melody line. Eryka Badu adds her popular
vocals while the flute remains the lead instrument.
On Smooth the
main melody is repeated in many variations. In contrast to the
stomping beat flow Kerr's up-tempo flute loops. Special accents are set
by keyboardist RC Williams who co-produced the track with Kerr.
on Kerr's album is certainly bass player Hubert Eavas IV. Hubert, like
Dwayne member of Eryka Badu's band, has also performed with Will
Downing, Alex Bugnon, Glenn Jones and Barry Danielian. Hubert creates
with H-Factor a hypnotic twist.
Daughters has a fascinating potential as a hit. The captivating
power finds its fountain in Kerr's magic flute, the fine timbre of
Daryl Grone's guitar and Carmeasha Williams' spell bounding vocals.
the classic melody line splitting in diverse ramifications. Based on
popular hip hop rhythms pushed by Shaun Martin's drum programming and
Hubert Eaves IV's bass loops the flute always keeps contour.
Being With You
is a special track on Kerr's album. The uplifting song is featuring
Kirk Whalum on tenor sax, Kerr and Whalum are devout Christians and
their strong spirit finds its equivalent in their inspired music.
The term Chillin'
is very popular nowadays. Originally created in Italy, Germany, UK
and Japan the wave has reached the States. Guitarist Matt Marshak, who
also plays keyboards on this track, has co-produced the song with
Kerr. Matt's latest album
Groovosphere (2006) received high acclaims.
It was a good
decision that Kerr worked with renowned producers like Hubert Eaves
IV, Jeff Feinstein, Daryl Grone, Matt Marshak, Shaun Martin and RC
Williams. Most of them created the songs together with Kerr and
performed their own parts. On the title song Higher Calling
it's keyboardist Jeff Feinstein who has a good hand for blessed and
So we can only say:
Keep It Right There. This song is featuring Daryl Grone and
Matt Marshak on their Wah Wah guitars. A truly relaxed song with a
If you like
Daughters you will love Daughters (Unplugged). This is double fun.
Some of you will
certainly seen the Beat Box flutists on You Tube. Dwayne Kerr delivers
with Chameleon (Beat box Style) his own showpiece.
sophomore album Higher Calling surpasses all expectations. A
surprise attack on brain, heart and ears. Well Done!