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Dontae Winslow Invites the World to 'Enter The Dynasty'

Alexander Brown
Staff Writer
alexanderparisbrown@gmail.com / @relaxandaspire

In what assuredly will be a breakthrough album of the year, trumpeter Dontae Winslow and The Winslow Dynasty have released their latest album Enter the Dynasty. This record is fun, diverse, and the type of jazz record that would be hard for people exclaim that they hate jazz.

"Summer Cookout" feat. ?uestlove and Roy Hargrove

Enter the Dynasty brings forth Dontae’s personality and history all in a single record. As Winslow told Nextbop/AoC "Enter the Dynasty is contemporary in its sonics but reaches back to the roots of Black American Music embodying textures and styles or blues, ballads, swing, and rock… I really wanted to capture that live, authentic feeling of a band in a room responding to one another like the old days."

Along with his own A-Game, Winslow brings together an A-list of guest stars. On the single "Summer Cookout", Winslow brings trumpeter Roy Hargrove (whom Winslow worked on The RH Factor) and musical tastemaker ?uestlove. Winslow, mentioning what he trying to encompass in this ode to a southern summer days, "For me this would include lemonade, Maryland crab cakes, pretty girls, cars, the park, family, friends, and a gathering of kindred souls."

However the album doesn’t stay at "drive-through-the-park Summer Jam for grown folks that young cats will also dig," as Winslow puts it; much of the album comes from deeply personal and heartfelt places inside Winslow. Those range from tracks about his family, "Mashica & Jedi", to songs about his hometown "Balitmore Crabcakes" and "2304 West North Ave".

The latter song, named after his home from childhood until adulthood, embraces a sense of growing up in a place you have mixed feelings about. Quoting Winslow "That house was raided by police for drugs, I've seen my mom overdose, and I've seen people almost killed in that house. The residence was a movie in and of itself so I wanted to record a song that would represent the quiet resolve I had to have in order to endure my days there. Days with no lights, no phone, no electricity were spent."

All together, Enter the Dynasty finds itself in good company with the records of late that are rooted in jazz, but expand itself into styles from gospel, soul, hip hop, and R&B. This is a record that you will find to be essential in your library, either dipping your toe into jazz waters or as a life-long aficionado.

"Chrysalis" feat. Chick Corea

Dontae Winslow and the Winslow Dynasty’s latest album, Enter the Dynasty can be purchased now on iTunes. You can also find them performing live at Iridium in NYC on February 18th, 2014.

Alexander Brown is a freelance writer. More of his work is available at his blog, Relax and Aspire.