The Checkout: 'Wake Up' to the Bright Sound of Trumpeter and Singer Wayne Tucker

Jun 14, 2017

As jazz becomes more cerebral and gnarly by day, trumpeter and singer Wayne Tucker chases a sound closer to the heart. This instinctive, emotive approach to music has caught the attention of many — including some artists outside the genre, like Taylor Swift and Elvis Costello, with whom Tucker has toured. 

The Wayne Tucker Group recently came into our studio, giving a performance that featured his bright sound, feel-good melodies and a rhythm that, in his words, grooves "Harder Than Robots." 

No matter how groovy or heartfelt he plays, Tucker said he wants "to play music where anything can happen at any moment," surrounding himself with jazz-trained players who can also quickly adapt to everything from Afrobeat to gospel to R&B. The band hints at all of those styles in this studio session, featuring music from a new album, Wake Up and See The Sun.

Wayne Tucker and the Bad Motha's play Rockwood Music Hall in New York City on Saturday. Watch them perform "When I Was a Child," live in our studio in Newark, New Jersey.

Wayne Tucker: Trumpet and vocals
Tom Larson: Guitar
Hila Kulik: Piano
Todd Caldwell: Organ
Tamir Shmerling: Acoustic and electric bass
Mark Whitfield Jr.: Drums

Video: Chris Tobin
Music Mix: Corey Goldberg