Derrick ‘Doc’ Pearson
Derrick ‘Doc’ Pearson
The phrase he’s done it all or he’s seen it all gets used a lot. So much, in fact, that it can lose its meaning. But within the music industry, Derrick ‘Doc’ Pearson comes as close to as doing and seeing it all as one can come and still be around to talk about it. He was there for the rise and decline in popularity of that wonderful DMV funk derivative called Go-Go music. He wrote songs for legendary acts like The O’Jays. Pearson married, started a family all while juggling jobs as a police officer in Washington, D.C. and still writing songs. The pressures and temptations associated with the music industry and policing led Pearson down a destructive path. It was at this low point in his life that Pearson grasped the one thing that had long been a part of his life but was always kept at arm’s length – his Christian faith.
Pearson accepted the Lord into his life, and he not only disconnected from secular music and its rewards and temptations, but from music entirely. This estrangement lasted until he answered a call from God to complete some spiritual and inspirational songs he wrote. Pearson has consistently released highly regarded (and highly charted) Christian music since then, and that includes his latest, A Family Man: Instrumental music to inspire, motivate and relax a family man. This is not Pearson’s first project that is mostly instrumental, but as the album’s title suggests, Pearson views this project as spiritual therapy for the brothers. Pearson wrote in his liner notes that he was divinely inspired to write instrumental songs that a guy could listen to be inspired, motivated or just to relax.
Pearson relies heavily on his musical history as a creator of rhythmic tunes during his days on the Go-Go and R&B scene to make music on A Family Man with the kind of punch that will keep the fellas interested. Tracks like “The Climb” feature the percussive conga drums and shots of brass with that distinctive Go-Go bounce, while tracks such as “Road Trip,” are a throwback to 1970s era funk, where Pearson lets loose with the thunder with some serious thumb work on the bass.
Pearson and his bass engage in a musical conversation with soprano saxophonist Merlon Devine on the laid back and breezy “Cozumel,” a contemporary jazz number that sports a steppers music pace, while the funky and bouncy “Walk In the Light” has a 1980s synthesized funk arrangement. Pearson dials back on the bass on the smooth jazz tune “Sparkling Cider,” allowing himself to serve as the funky foundation for some improvisational conversations between Marcus Anderson (on the tenor and alto sax) and guitarist Mike Scott, while Pearson himself injects some church when he hops on the electric organ. Pearson and company even explore a bit on New Jack Swing on the bangers “O.M.G.” and “Official.”
Musically Derrick ‘Doc’ Pearson saw and heard a great deal, and he puts it into making A Family Man, a record that will inspire, motivate, relax and entertain all who listen. Recommended.
By Howard Dukes