We could start describing Theo Croker’s musical career with Doc Cheatham, his grandfather, who contributed to the history of jazz as trumpeter and performed with Bessie Smith in the early 1920s and later with Cab Calloway, Teddy Wilson and Benny Carter. Theo learned a lot from him as a child. We could also start with Donald Byrd, who was a kind of mentor for Croker. Or with China, to where he moved t in 2006, at the age of 21, and where lived for over six years, exploring different music traditions and playing with people from all over the world and in various genres. This shaped his openness and versatility. However, we could also start with Dee Dee Bridgewater who invited Croker to perform with her after he returned from China, and subsequently produced his record “AfroPhysicist”. But maybe we should simply start like this: Theo Croker is one of the most talented virtuosos who can play classics like Coltrane’s “Naima” as majestically as the pressured funk force of his own pieces. “I am as influenced by jazz as I am by hip hop, R&B, rock, world music, and by African tribal music, ambient and Chinese music,” he once said. And it never sounds random and very self-confident and history-conscious.