The variety is broad and the band itself can blow up a storm!
The charismatic performances that distinguish Outrospection center on the 11 expressive compositions from Gregg Hill, an under-the-radar composer of imagination and emotional depth. Renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker first recognized Hill's music several years ago, and soon after they teamed up for the 2018 release, Common Ground. Warmth and humanity resonate throughout the recording, grown out of their friendship, two men of disparate generations and backgrounds who found each other through the music. "We both know how to listen," Whitaker reflects. "Our common ground is the music. It's really the great neutralizer." The exceptional improvisors joining Whitaker are drawn primarily from the jazz faculty at Michigan State University, the program he has helmed for two decades. Forming quartets and quintets with the rest of the rhythm section, Xavier Davis on piano and drummer Dana Hall, are Etienne Charles on trumpet, trombonist Michael Dease, and saxophonists Diego Rivera and Marcus Elliott. Rockelle Whitaker contributes lyrics and vocals to four of Hill's compositions.
1. Outrospection 6:25
2. New Sunday 4:10
3. Dollah Hollah 3:28
4. Bridge to Nashua 7:06
5. Stargazer 6:50
6. J-Quest 8:10
7. Ballade 5:37
8. Cadillac Club 5:54
9. Aloogabooga 6:01
10. Pointe Being 4:39
11. The Peace Song 6:07
All music composed by Gregg Hill & arranged by Rodney Whitaker, Lyrics by Rockelle Whitaker (2,5,7,9)
Rodney Whitaker - bass
Xavier Davis - piano
Dana Hall - drums
Randy Gelispie - drums (1,6)
Rockelle Whitaker - vocals (2,5,7,9)
Etienne Charles - trumpet (3,10,11)
Michael Dease - trombone (1,6)
Diego Rivera - saxophone (2,4,7,8)
Marcus Elliot - saxophone (9,11)
Randy Napoleon - guitar (5)
Produced by Gregg Hill and Rodney Whitaker
Recorded & mixed by Corey DeRuschia at Troubadour Studios, Lansing Michigan
Recorded on August 7-9 2020
Mastered by Jim Alfredson at Lansing, Michigan
Photography by Lynne Brown
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Scooting out of the classroom for a hot second with several of the professors under him, Whitaker gives a full album to the works of up and comer Gregg Hill who already feels like a jazz old soul. The music is rooted in civil rights jazz, which certainly has a place in these times, and is delivered in proper fashion by the pros on board. A real e ...
The Answer Is In The Beat, WCBN (Paul Simpson)
Rodney Whitaker, a Detroit-born musician and Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University, arranges several compositions by Lansing's Gregg Hill, with musicians from MSU's jazz faculty. The record was made under COVID lockdown with all the musicians socially distanced in different booths, but it still sounds cohe ...
All About Jazz (Paul Rauch)
4-STARS Bassist Rodney Whitaker grew out of the Detroit jazz tradition, paying dues along the way on the road with the likes of Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis and Kenny Garrett. His hard-driving style personifies modern post-bop jazz, with his dedication to tradition acting as a catalyst rather than a deterrent from innovation. ...
CirdecSongs (Cedric Hendrix)
Bassist Rodney Whitaker is both a highly talented instrumentalist and the director of Michigan State University's Jazz program. He and his band (made up mostly of fellow Michigan State faculty members) bring marvelous life to the work of Lansing, Michigan composer Gregg Hill. The band's (quartets and quintets) instrumentals swing hard, riveting the ...
Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
Michigan bassist Rodney Whitaker gives tribute to the pen of fellow statesman Gregg Hill on this classy post bop album teaming the leader with Xavier Davis/p, Dana Hall-Randy Gelispie/dr, Diego Rivera-Marcus Elliot/sax, Randy Napoleon/g, Michael Dease/tb, Etienne Charles/tp and Rockelle Whitaker. The result is a lyrical mix of moods that keep a smi ...
City Pulse (Lansing, MI) (LAWRENCE COSENTINO)
Rodney Whitaker's "Outrospection" processes the pandemic A lone trombone casts a shard of song onto the waves, a bottle with a note inside: Is anybody out there? "Outrospection," the title track of bassist Rodney Whitaker's latest CD, bares the scars from the lonely year of 2020, along with hopes for a better future together. Whitaker recall ...