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MP3 Corky McClerkin - Island of Dreams

A combination of hard-driving rhythm and striking chords with the smooth, contemporary, fusion and traditional jazz from yesterday and today.

12 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Smooth Jazz, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion

"Exciting!" "Dynamic!" "Seductive!" "Provocative!" These words describe Chicago born pianist Corky McClerkin as he performs the magic of "Bebop Soul". ISLAND OF DREAMS, Corky''s latest release, includes the sounds of both traditional and contemporary jazz, with hard driving rhythms & striking chords, plus swinging vocals in perfect harmony.

Conducting jazz seminars in Chicagoland and across the country, Corky found many participants unaware of jazz history; it''s cultural influence throughout the world, and the creative possibilities within the music itself. With Chicago''s most talented musicians and singers, ISLAND OF DREAMS is an illustration of the versatility and impact of African-American Jazz.

Living only two blocks from Chicago''s legendary Regal Theater, Corky grew up listening to the sounds of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and other Masters of Jazz.

Corky joined the Hyde Park High School Jazz Band after Herbie Hancock'' Graduation. During his three years with the 283rd Army Band at Ft. Benning, Ga., Corky formed his first jazz trio on base and played with Rock n'' Roll and Blues Bands off base in Columbus, Ga.

Returning to Chicago, Corky and others with backgrounds in swing, bebop, soul, avant-garde, blues, gospel, and even classical, played, listened and learned from each other. Inspired by Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Ray Charles, Ahmad Jamal, and Thelonius Monk, Corky developed his own style as performer, songwriter, and educator.

In 1983, WinCor Records released Corky''s debut album SEARCHIN'' FOR THE SOUL, combining jazz, gospel, soul, and funk, laying the foundation for the music we hear today. London based label Soul Jazz Records released LONDON JAZZ CLASSICS in 1995 with Corky''s 1983 title tune included. In 1992, Southport Records released Corky''s first CD, THE POWER OF ONE, an example of "Bebop Soul", with less focus on gospel and funk. As finalist in BET''s Best Jazz Instrumental Group in 1998, Corky''s Video from Chicago''s 1995 South Shore Jazz Festival continues to receive airplay.

Corky also found time to return to college, receiving a BA from Roosevelt U.(1973) and an MA in Urban Studies from Loyola U. (1975). In 1974, Corky became an editorial columnist with The Chicago Courier newspaper. In 1978, Korwin Enterprises published Corky''s first book, UNDERCURRENTS, a collection of African-American short stories.

Corky has played in the Virgin Islands, Singapore, and Jazz Festivals throughout the U.S. He has performed with Sonny Stitt, Eldee Young, Elvin Jones, and Jack DeJohnette,Henry Butler, his mentor Von Freeman and many others. Corky has accompanied Dee Dee Bridgewater, Holly Maxwell, Earnestine Anderson, Linda Hopkins, Al Hibbler, Sasha Daltonn, Joan Colasso, and Dee Alexander.

"...Corky''s piano style follows in the wake of the infectiously funky blues based keyboard music exemplified by hard bop paragons Horace Silver and Bobby Timmons in the 50''s and 60''s. McClerkin, like Ahmad Jamal and another of his favorites, Ray Bryant, knows how to leave space for his bluesist lines to breathe and resonate...as he recalls the jump band roots of his musical forebears." (Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader, April, 1993)

"...Even if McClerkin''s playing hints at the high spirits of Tatum, the complex harmonies of Tyner, and the blues sensibilities of Chicagoan Willie Pickens, the man''s own voice comes through vividly...McClerkin puts together harmonies in fresh and distinctive ways. There''s always some passing dissonance or striking blues element to every two-fisted chord he plays, essentially giving the listener more harmonic information than he can absorb." (Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, October 1995)

"...Irrespective of style or tempo, hard bop, Latin or soul jazz, McClerkin brings his many years of experience into play as he crafts each tune, making a special and distinctive statement with each." (Dave Nathan, https://www.tradebit.com December 2001)

"...ISLAND OF DREAMS brims with optimism, adventurous contemporary rhythms and improvisational passages... McClerkin is...perched on his keyboard with one hand in
the past and the other firmly in the future." (Mark Ruffin, https://www.tradebit.com August 2001).

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