The Derek Trucks Band

Soul Serenade

Slide guitarist Derek Trucks shines in every musical situation he enters, from the Allman Brothers Band (Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks is Derek’s uncle) to the outside-jazz and world-music-informed work of his solo efforts. Though the Allman presence is never too far away, particularly in Trucks’ approach to slide (Gregg Allman supplies the disc’s only vocal with an understated take on the R&B chestnut “Drown in My Own Tears”), the jazziness of most of this material allows Trucks the opportunity to carve out his own voice. In “Rasta Man Chant” he quotes “Amazing Grace” and then does a nimble, fluttering dance with flautist Kofi Burbridge. A cover of “Afro Blue” builds to climax after ecstatic climax with incendiary, Trane-like power and all without a note to spare. It’s a class act.