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Soul Serenade Enhanced

34 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Enhanced, August 5, 2003
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Soul Serenade + Songlines + Joyful Noise
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It would be wrong to pigeonhole Derek Trucks as a southern rocker despite his ongoing day gig as the Allman Brothers Band's second guitarist. On his fourth solo album (actually recorded before his third, 2002's Joyful Noise) the young slinger shows what he's made of, and it's not barbeque and bourbon. Instead Trucks caters more to the martini crowd, giving a sophisticated cast to his slide guitar, snaking it into elegant musical conversations with a rather frivolous flute, and some off time drumming that are reminiscent of the clean jazz fusion that Traffic used to conjure up. On the opening track, "Soul Serenade"/"Rasta Man Chant," Trucks inserts some of the languid licks and flirts with Miles Davis before devolving into Bob Marley. "Bock to Bock" is a more structured affair that recalls Henry Mancini. Gregg Allman sits in on "Drown in My Own Tears" and spits out the bitter words in his grizzled voice while Truck follows along in a perfect slow dance, punctuating each of the singer's phrases with his own mournful slide. Trucks ventures south of the border in "Afro Romp" and the band evokes the great jazz drummer Elvin Jones on "Elvin." --Jaan Uhelszki

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It would be wrong to pigeonhole Derek Trucks as a southern rocker despite his ongoing day gig as the Allman Brothers Band's second guitarist. On his fourth solo album (actually recorded before his third, 2002's Joyful Noise) the young slinger shows what he's made of, and it's not barbeque and bourbon. Instead Trucks caters more to the martini crowd, giving a sophisticated cast to his slide guitar, snaking it into elegant musical conversations with a rather frivolous flute, and some off time drumming that are reminiscent of the clean jazz fusion that Traffic used to conjure up. On the opening track, "Soul Serenade"/"Rasta Man Chant," Trucks inserts some of the languid licks and flirts with Miles Davis before devolving into Bob Marley. "Bock to Bock" is a more structured affair that recalls Henry Mancini. Gregg Allman sits in on "Drown in My Own Tears" and spits out the bitter words in his grizzled voice while Truck follows along in a perfect slow dance, punctuating each of the singer's phrases with his own mournful slide. Trucks ventures south of the border in "Afro Romp" and the band evokes the great jazz drummer Elvin Jones on "Elvin." --Jaan Uhelszki

1. Soul Serenade/Rasta Man Chant
2. Bock To Bock
3. Drown In My Own Tears
4. Afro Blue
5. Elvin
6. Oriental Folk Song
7. Sierra Leone

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 5, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000A4GAK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,682 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Rob M. Marchese on August 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The fourth installment from The Derek Trucks Band, Soul Serenade, which was apparently recorded before 2002's Joyful Noise, works as fine a follow-up as I can imagine. While Soul may rock less than Noise, its eclectic fusing of jazz, rock, Indian, blues, and even folk amalgamate to beautiful results.
These recordings-all-instrumental, save for Track 3, sung by Gregg Allman who's in fine form-are sophisticated compositions that have a discernible melodic structure-sometimes lacking from "jam bands." But to merely call TDTB a jam band would be doing them a disservice. The jams are never self-indulgent; they have direction and balance. The musicians have such a tight synergy between them that it appears they've been playing together for a decade or two. The tunes are at times jazzy: ("Bock To Bock"), funky: ("Soul Serenade/Rasta Man Chant"), bluesy: ("Drown In My Own Tears"), and ethereal: ("Oriental Folk Song" & "Sierra Leone"). Despite sounding like a mere rambling of music styles, the songs on the disc actually coalesce into a natural togetherness-creating a unified vibe.
The key word for this band is taste. They tastefully employ the use of flute (a rather audacious choice that works so well), played by the widely talented Kofi Burbridge. They tastefully keep their tunes to a reasonable length, never overplaying as far as I'm concerned. Even the packaging and liner notes (though a bit laconic) show good taste.
Like all great art, and I do believe this album exemplifies great art, Soul Serenade is truly original. But if I had to liken it to something, I'd compare them to Traffic (at their zenith), of course The Allman Brother's Band, and Wes Montgomery (the late jazz guitarist). And because it's great art, it's absolutely NOT for everyone.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Egebamyasi on August 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Blender magazine = 1 star. Rolling Stone = 2 stars. Don't always believe what you read.This is another fine album from Derek Trucks and band.It has more of an "easy" jazz feel due to the inclusion of flute on just about all the tracks.Don't let that scare you, this cd still rocks.Starts off with the Duane Allman fave Soul Serenade (wish it was longer)and quickly fades to Bob Marley's Rastaman Chant.Gregg Allman makes an appearance on an excellent Drown In My Own Tears.The rest is all jazzy instrumentals featuring flute and Allman Bros. style guitar.Somehow it all works.Don't believe what you read just believe what you hear.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By applewood on December 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I was late coming to appreciate Derek Trucks (took the Allman Brothers latest, HITTING THE NOTE, and The Flecktone's LITTLE WORLDS on which he makes a guest appearance, to get my interest). Quickly I've collected the last three of his Band's recordings and this has become my favorite. It holds together well.

My first impression of Trucks is that he is the incarnation of Duane Allman, or at least part of him. I'm not the first to get this impression. It makes me happy to feel our culture is getting stable enough to begin recognizing such continuity. Now, if we can just do so without enshrining the pop artists in religion (a la the tulkus of Tibet).....So after taking notice of this guy I go back into my collection and hear him on a Col. Bruce Hampton retrospective, playing electric sitar with the Col. at age 3. And Derek is playing slide! This guy obviously has natural talent, but it is talent he is serious about developing too.

What matters is that he can play well, and encourage others to do so too. Trucks plays like a whale moving easily through the depths, and his band moves easily between styles, from reggae to jazz to blues, to latin, middle eastern, and oh yes southern rock. (This CD is predominantly jazzy, check out JOYFUL NOISE for more eclectic variety.) I really like Kofi's flute playing here. It is a treat to have a modern and young band use the flute prominantly. The sense of creativity and exploration is refreshing. These songs are nothing flashy in isolation, pretty underspoken actually, but together make a soothing, uplifting and yet grounding experience.

The bonus (on computer) interview is great, it really opened my eyes to this young artists intelligence and depth and gave me cause for joy about the future of music.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rob M. Marchese on August 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The fourth installment from The Derek Trucks Band, Soul Serenade, which was apparently recorded before 2002's Joyful Noise, works as fine a follow-up as I can imagine. While Soul may rock less than Noise, its eclectic fusing of jazz, rock, Indian, blues, and even folk amalgamate to beautiful results.
These recordings-all-instrumental, save for Track 3, sung by Gregg Allman who's in fine form-are sophisticated compositions that have a discernible melodic structure-sometimes lacking from "jam bands." But to merely call TDTB a jam band would be doing them a disservice. The jams are never self-indulgent; they have direction and balance. The musicians have such a tight synergy between them that it appears they've been playing together for a decade or two. The tunes are at times jazzy: ("Bock To Bock"), funky: ("Soul Serenade/Rasta Man Chant"), bluesy: ("Drown In My Own Tears"), and ethereal: ("Oriental Folk Song" & "Sierra Leone"). Despite sounding like a mere rambling of music styles, the songs on the disc actually coalesce into a natural togetherness-creating a unified vibe.
The key word for this band is taste. They tastefully employ the use of flute (a rather audacious choice that works so well), played by the widely talented Kofi Burbridge. They tastefully keep their tunes to a reasonable length, never overplaying as far as I'm concerned. Even the packaging and liner notes (though a bit laconic) show good taste.
Like all great art, and I do believe this album exemplifies great art, Soul Serenade is truly original. But if I had to liken it to something, I'd compare them to Traffic (at their zenith), of course The Allman Brother's Band, and perhaps Wes Montgomery (the late jazz guitarist). And because it's great art, it's absolutely NOT for everyone.
Read more ›
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