‘KingMaker leaves an impression for the way Joel Ross’ compositions shed a new light on the vibraphone. With youthful fire, following the footsteps of greats such as Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson.’ Twenty-something Ross, who grew up in Chicago and moved to Brooklyn, made his name as a sideman in New York clubs and appeared on recent album successes by Makaya McCraven and Marquis Hill.
On his own album KingMaker he reveals his qualities as a bandleader and a sophisticated composer, whether he deals with atmospheric, ECM-like sounds, or grooves inspired by dance, hip-hop and M-Base. ‘A maestro at the vibraphone, a sharp band leader. Ross’ Blue Note debut, KingMaker, is his first as a leader, and it is a marvel. Every note counts’ (Pitchfork).