Artist: Kerry Wilkins
Album: Follow My Lead
Genre: Contemporary Jazz
Quality: mp3, 192 kbps
01. Down South
02. M2 Tribute (Marcus Miller & Miles Davis)
03. Changing Lanes
04. If Only For One Night
06. Love Calls
07. The Vibe
08. For The Road
09. Can’t Wait
10. The Right Mood
11. Waiting For You
12. Follow My Lead
Texan-born guitarist Kerry Wilkins is set to wow the world even further with the upcoming release of his new album “Follow My Lead”, available November 2006 on Moore & Moore Records.
A lifelong lover of jazz, as well as some of the finest cross-genre guitarists such as Hendrix and Santana, Wilkins is one of the most gifted jazz guitar players of his generation. Further more, Wilkins has also excelled as a player, songwriter and producer in all three disciplines for the new album.
His childhood home in Houston was always full of music for a young mind to be inspired. At 12 Wilkins took up the guitar and found his true calling, at 16 he joined up with fellow players to start his first band. In the next year he joined his high school stage band and became fully immersed in the performance of Contemporary Jazz, though always part inspired by the records of his youth, from the likes of: George Benson, Earl Klugh, Ernie Isley, Jonathan Butler, and Norman Brown. Inspired by what he heard at the jazz bars downtown, Wilkins used the stage band as a springboard to write his own compositions – certainly no easy feat in such an elite, complex and often elusive genre such as Jazz.
Ever expanding his range of influences, experiences and knowledge in the mastery of his instrument, Wilkins teamed up for a short period with the great jazz saxophonist Kyle Turner. After a few years apart, Wilkins and Turner eventually reunited in 1989 and formed the Kyle Turner and Standing Room Only, a jazz band that recruited other like-minded – and like-gifted – players. The band was a huge hit, and opened for many bigger names such as The Rippingtons, Spyro Gyra, Richard Elliot and Natalie Cole in many different venues – always vying to steal the show with their playing. Wilkins was always something a little extra special in those performances; never simply delivering the expected, always pushing the guitar into the forefront of Contemporary Jazz.
Playing with Kyle Turner and Standing Room Only is just one of many examples of this guitarist’s great ability to collaborate and perform with others. His discography is extensive and varied, simply because he is more than capable of adapting his unique playing to whichever musical style of his partners. Performing on 16 albums is a matchless contribution to music in today’s world, including his first solo album – “The Introduction” – released in 2001. “The Introduction received airplay from coast to coast in the US, and gained Wilkins an audience from the states to the UK, to Japan and Africa. Clearly his intention to “transcend ages and all ethnic groups” was achieved with the record’s success.
Onstage he has been equally impressive with Kim Waters, Marion Meadows, Kirk Whalum, Bobby Lyle Ronnie Lyle, Ollie Woodson (Temptations) and many others. Like bamboo, his strength lies in his flexibility. Which makes sense that he has in the last few years turned his hand to playing keyboards, bass guitar and drums to achieve the ‘all-Wilkins’ sound of his solo albums. As he says: “my music is special because most of it is original music I created or co-created. I can improvise and solo at will and in any key. My music connects with the listener mentally and emotionally”.
After the release of “The Introduction”, Wilkins threw himself into an incredible seven independent recording projects – a high ambition that his talent has certainly been able to match. And this, his new sophomore CD “Follow My Lead”, is one of the ripe fruits of his playing and writing endeavors. Featuring twelve tracks that are a mixture of Smooth and Contemporary Jazz, many of the songs are live in performance, and ten of twelve tracks were produced by Gregg Moore. Kerry’s incredible band for the “Follow My Lead” recording features Larry Davis on keyboard and organ, pianist Bobby Lyle, drummer Mark Simmons, Bernard Wright on keyboards, a (very special) guest spot from saxophonist Kyle Turner, bassist Barry Jackson, and D-MAC (aka – Derrick McCampbell) on vocals: an awesome line-up by the highest standards.
Kerry reflects on the music he is making and the direction he is heading: “I see my music as a means of communicating what I feel and what I think. Music helps me to express myself without interruption or inhibition.”