The surge of recognition that the Los Angeles jazz scene has received in recent years has been both gratifying and frustrating, as far too many stories make it sound like Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Miles Mosley and Cameron Graves, et al. appeared suddenly out of thin air. Few musicians have done more to cultivate the L.A. scene over the past four decades than vocalist Dwight Trible, and his new album Mothership serves as a treasure map to the missing pieces behind the tale of the Southland resurgence.
Drawing from the spiritually charged universe of Pharoah Sanders and the politically radical realm of the late great pianist/composer Horace Tapscott, Trible imbues a fascinating program of songs with celestial soul. His warm, pliable baritone can soar into a high tenor territory, and rumble with chesty authority. From the opening title track by Tapscott and Linda Hill and “Mother” by pianist Nate Morgan and poet Kamau Daood to Oscar Brown Jr.’s “Brother Where Are You?” and bassist James Leary’s “Song for My Mother,” Trible is preoccupied with the joys and sorrows that come with kith and kin.