United States-based Barbadian saxophonist Elan Trotman is unwavering in his commitment to wave the flag high for Caribbean music.
After releasing six soul-jazz albums and more than ten chart-topping singles that have made him a permanent fixture on radio playlists, Trotman is “shaking it up” by going electronic on Electro Sax, his seventh outing which was released today by Island Muzik Productions.
Seeking a “hip radio sound that will reach beyond the masses”, Trotman recruited a creative team of up-and-coming producers and, – SpardakisP-NutDr O Da Troof – whom he met at Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music and tasked them with putting a fresh, modern twist on the eleven new tracks that he wrote for the collection.
With electronic elements evident in the production of Trotman’s tenor and soprano sax and the adventurous EDM sonicscapes, the result is an energizing, dance-happy mix of impromptu jazz sax licks, kinetic dance beats and festive Caribbean rhythms. Adding nuances to the audacious alchemy are guitarists Wayne Jones, Freddie Fox and JJ Sansavarino and steel pannist Kareem Thompson.
The first single set to seduce radio listeners is the reggae-infused Island Gal, which spotlights Trotman on soprano sax. He describes the cut as having “a sexy vibe to it”. Fans of the late Prince will appreciate the balladic tribute Purple Emotion that closes the set. The session’s lone cover is a tropical, dance hall take of Walk The Moon’s infectious pop smash Shut Up and Dance.
“Electro Sax is a true representation of where I am at in my career. It’s modern sounding with prominent hints of the island. It’s also about branching out, reaching out by making good music for the masses,” said Trotman.
“It’ll definitely ruffle feathers, but that is part of being an artiste – pushing boundaries and perhaps establishing new ones.
“The ‘tropicality’ elements are part of who I am and I’m sticking with it. It’ll always be part of my sound and I believe in it. It is part of my brand and it’s authentic to my [Barbadian] roots.”
Trotman showcases and shares the culture of his homeland at his annual Barbados Jazz Excursion, slated to take place on the Caribbean island for the fourth time in October over Columbus Day Weekend (October 6-9, 2017). The saxman performs and hosts the music festival and golf tournament that benefits his nonprofit Never Lose Your Drive Foundation and the Head Start Music Programme in Barbados.
Slated to perform this year are R&B and contemporary jazz mainstays Will Downing, Norman Brown, Marion Meadows, Brian Simpson, Jeanette Harris and Julian Vaughn as well as Queen of Soca, Alison Hinds.
The recipient of a full Government of Barbados scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, Trotman resides in Boston. Named Jazz Artiste of the Year on multiple occasions by the New England Urban Music Awards and the Barbados Music Awards, he debuted as a solo artiste in 2009 with This Time Around.
Subsequent albums featured collaborations with Grammy winners Kirk Whalum, Terri Lyne Carrington and Paul Brown as well as Downing, Peter White, Jeff Lorber, Cindy Bradley, Tony Terry and Simpson. Trotman has also guested on Billboard Top 10 hits by Meadows, Simpson, Vaughn, Greg Manning and Cal Harris. He’s a popular draw on the festival and club circuit.