Corky McClerkin – Island of Dreams

Island of Dreams
Corky McClerkin
(WinCor – 2001)
by Carmen Miller

Island of Dreams features McClerkin and some of Chicago’s finest musicians, including Curtis Prince (recently on George Freeman’s CD) and Co-Producer Michael Logan. On the whole, I would have to categorize this as a “World-Jazz” release, McClerkin calls it a “…celebration of African-American music…”

Slick N’ Slide comes in smooth and melodic with McClerkin on keyboards. A rambling sort of track, McClerkin also performs the flute solo. Africa takes you into the world-music scene, featuring lyrics and a vocal performance by Dee Alexander.

There’s an interesting but uninspired rendition of the overdone Bacharach classic The Look of Love followed by another catchy world-music tune titled I say Freedom. Then McClerkin comes back with the ohh-so-sweet, Island-tinged Don’t you know how come, featuring the sexy vocals of Dee Alexander and a grooving sax solo by Tyrone Hines.

Los Niños Goes south-of-the-border with horn flourishes, latin rhythms and the whole nine yards…. Ole! Farewell my Friend is a slow, sweet R&B Ballad that showcases Joan Collaso’s sweet vocals.

Sounds Good to Me is more of a traditional bop thing, nice but not my bag. The title track Island of Dreams is a highly produced, intricate piece that loses some of the flavor of the rest of the CD because it is so complex. I was enjoying the flow of the CD when I had to stop and figure this one out. Love Upside Down again flows into the more traditional vein, with fat horns and rollicking piano lines.

Ellington’s In a Sentimental Mood is not only technically good, but shows why McClerkin followed in Herbie Hancocks footsteps in high school. McClerkin closes things with the upbeat Cancel Me Out, featuring a strong bass from John Whitfield and throaty sax from Duke Payne. This is a strong ending to a good release.

For more info visit
Corky McClerkin’s Web Site