235

Kenny Garrett: Beyond The Wall

By

Sign in to view read count
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 suggestive of several Coltrane compositions (as well as Cedar Walton's "Holy Land ), and the title track, a tour de force blowing vehicle on Traneish rhythm changes. Hutcherson's vibraphone augments the group on "Qing Wen and "Realization (Marching Towards The Light), which showcase Garrett's melding of jazz with Far Eastern influences. The two selections also feature the voice of Nedelka Echols, giving them a heavenly quality reminiscent of Hutcherson's Now! (Blue Note, 1969) and Sanders' Journey To The One (Evidence, 1980). The spiritual depth is further enhanced on the latter track with an incisively sampled Tibetan chant.

Garrett spells Miller at the piano in the rhythm section for his stirring "Tsunami Song, a feature for Guowei Wang's erhu (a bowed two-string Chinese instrument) and a string quartet of violin, cello, harp and Hurst's bass. Sanders, Hutcherson, Miller and Echols (joined by five backing vocalists) return on "Kiss To The Skies and "Gwoka —the former an appealing gospel tinged ode, the latter a dancing, African-inflected melody.

In between the group, sans voices, stretches out on the leader's "Now, a Latinish line driven by Blade's exuberant drumming and Rogerio Boccatto's understated percussion. The disc concludes with the moving "May Peace Be Upon Them, a beautiful benediction passionately delivered by Garrett with just the trio—a fitting finish for an important album of music with a majestic message.


Track Listing: Calling; Beyond the Wall; Qing Wen; Realization (Marching Toward the Light); Tsunami Song; Kiss to the Skies; Now; Gwoka; May Peace Be Upon Them.

Personnel: Kenny Garrett: alto saxophone (1-4,6-9), piano (5); Pharaoh Sanders: tenor saxophone (1-4,6-8); Mulgrew Miller (1-4,6-9); Robert Hurst, III: bass; Brian Blade: drums; Bobby Hutcherson: vibes (3,4,6,7,8); Ruggerio Boccato: percussion (1,3,4-8); Nedelka Echols: vocals (3,4,6,8); Genea Martin, Kevin Wheatley, Arlene Lewis, Geovanti Steward, Dawn Caveness: vocals (6,8): vocals; Guowei Wang: erhu (5); Jonathan Gandelsman: violin (5); Neil Humphrey: cello (5); Susan Jolles: harp (5).

Title: Beyond The Wall | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette" CD/LP/Track Review Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Sunset
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Signals" CD/LP/Track Review Signals
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Taylor Street" CD/LP/Track Review Taylor Street
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 17, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.