Dick Metcalf, editor, Contemporary Fusion Reviews
Highly impressive jazz statements The Tucker Brothers – TWO PARTS: This is another “first listen” for me… this wonderful album features The Tucker Brothers Joel Tucker guitar, Nick Tucker bass, with Sean Imboden tenor saxophone, Brian Yarde drums and several special guests – Elena Escudero voice, Walter Smith III tenor Saxophone, Ellie Pruneau piano & Amanda Gardier alto saxophone… a very well-produced and enjoyable video gives you clear insight for what they’re trying to accomplish…
I particularly like the gentle “swayed-back” aura of their playing… be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the YouTube channel, where you’ll find many more exciting videos… I did.
Tunes like “When Souls Meet“, featuring Walter’s tenor work, will hold you totally spellbound… you’ll definitely become an “instant believer” in The Tucker Brothers talent and energy as you listen to this one (over & over again)!
The vocals that Elena performs on the opener, “Warm Heart“, are simply magic… the song has a “mellowness” that few are able to achieve these days… some of the coolest jazz vocal work I’ve heard (yet) in 2019!
Joel’s guitar on “Lifely” is shimmering with the spirit of life & the living of it… I predict that this composition will garner MAJOR airplay on jazz stations ’round the globe… it certainly merits it, folks.
The bass intro from Nick on “Heavy Drop” is similar to what you might expect, but since the tune clocks in at 9:00, there is plenty of room for the other players to contribute to the conversation they’re having with you… this is my personal favorite of the nine songs offered up for this superb jazz adventure!
Truth be told, I haven’t been this impressed with a “new” group (new to me, anyway) in a while… I give these wonderful players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.99. - Rotcod Zzaj
"Indiana University graduate Tucker was awarded this summer a Musical Family Tree grant to help fund an album saluting Indianapolis jazz greats."
"Writing Prompts" continues to document the progress of a cohesive band that enjoys a lively fund of imaginative resources to draw upon in both composition and performance."
"This is a band that never seems to coast. Too often you'll hear the outchorus of a standard played in a routine manner, but this one had some imaginative new ideas. None of the members, including the drummer, shies away from attention to melody."
"This band consists of four individualists who seem thoroughly attuned to one another."
House of Prog
Fresh and interesting, often relaxed and buoyant, this is an intriguing album indeed. - Kev Rowland
The JW Vibe
Individually and collectively important parts of the Indianapolis jazz scene, guitarist Joel and bassist Nick Tucker – collectively known as the Tucker Brothers – are instructors of Jazz Studies at Ball State University and have distinctive resumes boasting performances with and alongside greats ranging from Pat Martino and Russell Malone to Randy Brecker and Stefan Harris.
The title of the third album, the adventurous and dazzlingly eclectic fusion date Two Parts, is a bit ironic, since the brothers (aka the “two parts”) are in full ensemble action throughout, creating a multitude of mood swings and tempo variations and improvisational jam magic with the two guys rounding out their quartet, Sean Imboden (saxophone) and Brian Yarde (drums) and a dynamic cadre of guests. Wordless vocalist Elena Escudero turns the silky, easy flowing opener “Warm Heart” into a soulful dreamscape, while saxophonist Walter Smith III creates a fiery horn conversation/duality with Imboden on the increasingly rambunctious “When Souls Meet.”
There’s also pianist Ellie Pruneau, who creates a steady, elegantly hypnotic underscore for the multi-movement, rhythmically varied title track; and saxophonist Amanda Gardener, who brings fresh whimsy to the perfectly titled “Sundancing.”
While the Tuckers enjoy engaging their high-end company for the most part, they also dazzle here and there with powerful solos, most prominently with Nick’s plucky bass intro to “Heavy Drop” and Joel’s cool fire electric guitar solo on “Lifely.” -Jonathan Widran
"...this is no mere rehash of greatest hits from the Wes Montgomery or Freddie Hubbard songbook. Writing Prompts contains eight wonderfully crafted original pieces composed by Joel and Nick."
Musical Family Tree Amplify Indy Grant Recipient
"The project will pay homage to the most prominent Indianapolis jazz musicians of the past who are remembered throughout the world as some of the best musicians that have ever lived. We are delighted to have the opportunity to support this celebration of Indiana music history."
As Told by Indy
"Serving up a divine mixture of jazz, pop and indie rock on his forthcoming album, Nine is the Magic Number, Indy’s own Joel Tucker is gaining some serious attention these days."
"Many interesting and wonderful ideas and concepts have gone into Nine is the Magic Number, and it’s sure to be a hit around town with people of all generations!"