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Kenny Garrett Quartet: Denver, CO, May 4, 2012

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Kenny Garrett Quartet Soiled Dove Underground Denver, CO May 4, 2012The last couple times Kenny Garrett came through Denver, he was a sideman. In 2010 he toured with Chick Corea's Freedom Band that also featured Christian McBride on bass and 85-year-old Roy Haynes on drums. The year before, Garrett was a member of the Five Peace Band which also featured Corea and McBride, along with John McLaughlin on guitar and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. His role in both bands was to play the head or theme of the tune with the rest of the band, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Garrett: Seeds From The Underground

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Kenny Garrett is one of the most respected and frequently imitated saxophonists in the jazz world, but he might not have reached his full potential if not for those who guided him and showed him the way. While some musicians try to rewrite history when they make it big, turning their backs on the nurturing forces and influential individuals that kept them on the righteous path, Garrett doesn't fall into that category. He gives credit where credit is due, and Seeds From The Underground is the proof.Garrett wrote ten musical “thank you" notes for this project, which honors ...

INTERVIEWS

Kenny Garrett: Back To The Future

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Detroit's Kenny Garrett is a restless man. Before he'd even released his 2006 Nonesuch album Beyond The Wall, he'd already moved on to a different band with a completely different repertoire. And it's always been like that for Garrett, who is constantly searching for new territory to mine and new corners of the world--both geographical and musical--to explore. For his album Sketches of MD (Mack Avenue, 2008), Garrett is invoking the spirit of his former boss, trumpeter Miles Davis. The music on the CD combines sonic ideas from several of Davis's former sidemen, including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Garrett: Sketches of MD: Live at The Iridium

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Kenny Garrett continues his relationship with tenor legend Pharoah Sanders from Beyond the Wall (Nonesuch, 2006), but ditches some of the gravitas for Sketches of MD: Live at the Iridium. An album of unabashed blowing and multiplicity of stylistic references, it's the closest Garrett has come to his seminal Standard of Language (Warner Bros., 2003). Were it not for one misstep, it would be the closest thing to perfect that Garrett has released. “The Ring" kicks the album off in fine modal form, pianist Benito Gonzalez combining McCoy Tyner's block chords with a lighter touch, as first Garrett ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Garrett: Sketches of MD: Live at The Iridium

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Kenny Garrett continues his mélange of modal exploration with Sketches of MD: Live at The Iridium. The recording is a sequel to Beyond the Wall, Garrett’s early collaboration with Pharoah Sanders, and is a snapshot of his progression.The opening number, “The Ring,” starts with a dramatic theme stated by the alto-tenor front line. Garrett and Sanders traverse late-Trane territory in their improvisations yet they rarely scale the heights of propulsion or evoke their earlier spiritual majesty.Like a seafaring explorer, Garrett rides waves of tradition and innovation to shores of his own making. He confidently ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Garrett: Sketches of MD: Live At The Iridium

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Alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett gives listeners a kaleidoscopic view of his music in this fun live recording. A post-bop saxophonist who performed with Miles Davis during the trumpeter's later fusion/funk years, Garrett has since gone on to make his own name as one of the fiercest players around. In spite of what labels/critics may have desired, he's paving his own multi-colored-brick road. This has included African Exchange Student (Atlantic, 1990), the contemporary jazz friendly Happy People (Warner Brothers, 2002), and Beyond the Wall (Nonesuch, 2006), inspired by a trip to China. This debut on Mack Avenue was recorded ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Kenny Garrett at Dazzle

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Kenny Garrett Dazzle Denver July 25, 2008

Kenny Garrett is restless. Over his 20 or so year career, he's explored a good piece of the jazz territory. Consequently, a Kenny Garrett concert is a little like a random parachute jump; you could land just about anywhere. Friday night at Dazzle, Garrett traveled through the terrain of fusion, funk and a little space jazz. Those hoping for some bebop didn't necessarily go home happy. On the other hand, those willing to follow Garrett into the land beyond bebop had some groovalicous fun.

It was ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Garrett: Beyond the Wall

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Native Detroiter Kenny Garrett has been on the cutting edge of jazz for some time now. The former Miles Davis sideman has built a reputation as an uncompromising trailblazer while managing to write melodic and highly accessible music. Of his many sessions, Beyond the Wall could very well be his best.

Inspired by his long-time fascination with the culture, music and spirituality of China, Garrett has captured a unique musical vision that stimulates thoughts of the Far East while simultaneously paying homage to John Coltrane and his classic quartet with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones. Veterans Bobby Hutcherson ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Garrett: Beyond The Wall

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Since the release of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965), only a handful of albums have effectively explored jazz's spiritual aspects while sustaining its exciting secular qualities. Beyond The Wall is a masterful work of original music that succeeds marvelously on both levels, building upon Trane's legacy, as well as the work of the date's two very special guest artists--Pharoah Sanders and Bobby Hutcherson--bolstered by the superb rhythm section of pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Robert Hurst, III and drummer Brian Blade. Garrett and Sanders blend their distinctive instrumental voices on the opening “Calling, an evocative piece ...

INTERVIEWS

Kenny Garrett: Musical Explorer

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Alto saxophonist and composer Kenny Garrett has released more than a dozen albums over a career spanning nearly three decades. His resume would make the average jazz fan weak in the knees: Freddy Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, the Duke Ellington Band, the Mel Lewis Orchestra, and many others.Garrett was born in Detroit in 1960. His musical travels have taken him around the world, and awakened in him a desire to learn more than just what can be found in the guidebooks. The most recent result of that inquisitiveness is Beyond The Wall, his new record ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Garrett: Beyond the Wall

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Sometimes homages can be too reverential. Alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett, with a spiritual energy mirroring a significant influence, John Coltrane, intended to use Beyond the Wall as an opportunity to record with pianist McCoy Tyner, with whom he's shared the bandstand on occasion. Though a scheduling conflict prevented Tyner from participating, his spirit--and that of his late employer--looms large over the project. The result echoes the scope of larger-scale Tyner projects like Asante (Blue Note, 1970) and the fierce modality of middle-period Coltrane.

With Tyner unavailable, Garrett's choice of Mulgrew Miller was inevitable. With so many pianists citing Bill Evans ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Garrett: Beyond the Wall

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Alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett's first recording for Nonesuch, a concept album inspired by a recent trip to China, finds him in the company of an all-star ensemble. A phenomenally gifted soloist with a singular tone and instantly identifiable phrasing, he has walked a fine line between mainstream jazz and more popular forms in the recent past. In previous situations with producer Marcus Miller, Garrett veered dangerously close to watered down smooth jazz. Beyond The Wall remedies this situation.

Incorporating elements of traditional Chinese folk music and modal structures into his animated and funky hard bop compositions, Garrett arrives ...

Kenny Garrett

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Greetings to all of you Wide-Open Jazz and Beyond readers. I've just returned from a one month European tour with the great funk trombonist Fred Wesley of James Brown fame (who I'll write about in a future article). We played many of the summer festivals including the world-famous Montreaux Jazz Festival. As I was roaming the halls in the backstage area I ran into an old friend of mine that I hadn't seen in a while, the incredible saxophonist Kenny Garrett. We greeted warmly but unfortunately had no time to talk, as he and his band were just about to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Garrett: Standard of Language

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The glowing reviews have already begun to pour in for saxophonist Kenny Garrett's newest release, Standard of Language - a recording of substantial quality, and a reaffirmation of Garrett's place among the best in jazz today. But as good as Garrett may be, it's the collective power of the ensemble that's most significant here. With pianist Vernell Brown, bassist Charnett Moffett and drummer Chris Dave, Garrett has assembled a quartet capable of barnstorming swing as well as balladeering tenderness. The group opens the set with an energetic, velocity-ridden interpretation of "What Is This Thing Called Love?" Garrett's ...



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