274

Peter Kenagy: Little Machines

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Peter Kenagy is a young trumpeter and composer, born in Seattle and based in Boston, who already has a lot to say on his first album. His original compositions explore areas that most jazz musicians don't seem drawn to. His tunes, like the relaxed "Nile," are spacious, letting in air and light. He also looks at a couple of vintage standards, cleverly recasting them.

"Dog Story" is one of the most satisfying performances here. Its theme is hip, the kind that pleasantly nestles in your ear. Its structure and open form somewhat recall Ornette Coleman, although the tempo change in the middle is pure Kenagy, enabling him to sandwich his free trumpet musings between hard-swinging saxophone solos. Then there's "AYG...," a recasting of "After You've Gone" into a meandering, stuttering bolero. "Whisps" is actually "Whispering," another classic standard. With those shifting accents on the head and solid, swinging solos, "Whisps" could be a "Groovin' High" for the 21st Century.

Of course, Little Machines is a lot more than just a series of unusually clever compositions and arrangements. It's also the thoughtful improvising by the horns. Kenagy seems less interested in bravura displays of chops than most younger players. He likes to play melodies, although always imbued with swing and considerable harmonic daring. He reminds me of both Tom Harrell and Don Cherry.

At times alto saxophonist Jeremy Udden sounds like he wants to play Ornette Coleman to Kenagy's Cherry. Hear, for example, his tonal manipulations on "Nile" or his jabbing lines on "Dog Story." Tenor saxophonist Jason Hunter is solid, with a clean, centered tone. While guitarist Adam Larrabee only solos once, his reverb-drenched comps are essential to this band's spacious sound. And finally, the excellent rhythm section adroitly negotiates everything its leader writes, giving this challenging music an added air of delight and accessibility.


Track Listing: Nile; Dog Story; AYG; Little Machines; Hungary; Disappearing Man; Whisps

Personnel: Peter Kenagy (trumpet), Jason Hunter (tenor saxophone), Jeremy Udden (alto saxophone), Adam Larrabee (guitar), Rick McLaughlin (bass), Jorge Perez-Albela (drums)

Title: Little Machines | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Two in a Box CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Discussions CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Swallowed by the New" CD/LP/Track Review Swallowed by the New
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Echoes Of Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes Of Europe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Heavy Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Rumbler" CD/LP/Track Review Rumbler
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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