247

Shan Kenner Trio: Brooklyn Sketches

Matthew Warnock By

Sign in to view read count
Shan Kenner Trio: Brooklyn Sketches Brooklyn Sketches is a genre-bending, highly energetic album by New York-based guitarist Shan Kenner. Kenner's modern approach to improvising and his constant need to explore new realms of dissonance and rhythmic tension provide for some very interesting moments on the record. Not to be outdone, the rhythm section of Ryan Berg on bass and Rudy Royston on drums prove to be a dynamic pair in both solo and ensemble settings. Both of these talented musicians are equally comfortable when pushing Kenner to new improvisational heights with their comping as they are creating improvised solos of their own. All of these factors, along with a high level of musicianship, combine to create a recording that is both sonically compelling and intellectually stimulating.

The tunes on the album were all written by Kenner with the exception of Chick Corea's "Windows" and Miles Davis' "Blue in Green." The arrangements tend to be very loose, in a good way, including "The Bulldog," which blurs the lines between pre-written and spontaneous composition. As well, the title track mixes elements of Western art music with modern jazz to produce an engaging and sophisticated sound painting of the New York borough. The openness of the form and feel of each tune allows an intimate look into each player's musical persona throughout the album, drawing attention to their individual voices as well as the group dynamic as a whole.

Kenner's playing is difficult to categorize, as he is constantly drawing from a wide variety of influences in his improvisations. There is certainly an element of the freedom of late period John Coltrane and early Ornette Coleman in Kenner's approach to time and feel. His lines are not built from the usual 8th and 16th note rhythms that most traditional players favor in their solos and melodic interpretations. Instead, Kenner prefers to build his melodic and harmonic ideas with groups of five and seven notes, as well as oddly placed triplet figures that push around the bar line. These unusual groupings of notes create an atmosphere where the tempo is constantly fluctuating, bringing an almost malleable feel to the time. This provides for a sense of rhythm that is rooted less in bar lines and constant note patterns, and more in the ebb and flow of the ensemble as a whole.

Kenner is constantly striving to break new ground with his use of abstract rhythms and complex harmonic and melodic ideas throughout Brooklyn Sketches. Though this is a formidable task for any musician, Kenner and his trio rely on their strong musicianship and group dynamic to breathe new life into the jazz guitar trio genre, all the while maintaining an emotional connection to the music.


Track Listing: The Bulldog; Windows; Substance; Holding Pattern; Brooklyn Sketches; Forgotten Agenda; Blue in Green; Swiftness; Evan (Dedicated to Evan Farrell).

Personnel: Shan Kenner: guitar; Ryan Berg: bass; Rudy Royston: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by James Nadal
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift" CD/LP/Track Review Post Cool: Vol 1 The Night Shift
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Triple Exposure" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Exposure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Wild About You" CD/LP/Track Review Wild About You
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!