Still I Rise showcases Derrick’s formidable trumpet chops, but also his finesse as a composer and arranger. From greasy blues to extravagant showstoppers to languid ballads, these tunes have sinew and sparkle, muscle and shimmer. His soli sections are fully charged, and his compositional ideas move brilliantly through the band, making room for inspired soloing. He lets his star players blaze, and makes room for the younger players to shoulder in.
Derrick Gardner’s Big dig! Band is a classic jazz orchestra: spectacular sax, trombone, and trumpet sections studded with world-class musicians, and a rock-solid rhythm section to anchor all those flights of fancy. This band has weight, polish, sparkle, and drive. It swings without an ounce of apology, and at the same time feels current and fresh.
Still I Rise is a sleek, powerful, gorgeous project, and under all the brilliance is a driving energy which is both musical and political. Buckle up—this ride is real!
- Charlene Diehl, Associate editor, dig! magazine