5

Tom Kennedy: Points of View

Geno Thackara By

Sign in to view read count
Tom Kennedy is one of those behind-the-scenes players who's been all over the place in the jazz world. His bass is adaptable to just about any context, simple or tricky; he's been recruited for a solid low end by players from crooner Tania Maria to prog wizard Derek Sherinian. One of his steadiest ongoing stints has been a spot alongside Dave Weckl in several of his ensembles, mostly (though certainly not always) in the electrified fusion realm. With his fifth solo release Points of View, Kennedy rests comfortably in that familiar milieu with some top-notch friends equally versed in the game.

Fans of Weckl's savvy fusion style will find a great complement in this disc. A couple moments may veer a bit too smooth—the lounge-y "The Dark" doesn't make much of an impression in the early going—but those are generally outweighed by livelier moments. Kennedy's liquid bass is propulsive or sneaky as fits each piece, staying firmly grounded in his sense of harmonics and rhythm rather than drifting into flash.

It's an ensemble recording rather than a band album; there's an extensive guest list of melodic lead players who appear on a couple tracks each. This doesn't make the recording seem scattershot as these setups sometimes tend to. The song selections fit in a coherent enough mold to make all the tracks feel of a piece, often rooted in blues, blue-eyed soul and simple bouncing grooves. The production makes it all sound like it could have been one big session, and there's enough shared history among all the musicians to keep their chemistry sparking.

Flowing trumpet from Randy Brecker, airy saxophone by Bill Evans, Lee Ritenour's blues-rooted guitar and Weckl's coasting drum grooves are all familiar and dynamic presences. The gang know what they're doing and dig into it like poker buddies happily cracking open some beers. Kennedy's grooves are lively, the crew is sharp and slick, and the hour breezes pleasantly by until the closing talk-show-house-band shuffle kicks into their highest gear under the leader's wildest solo here. Points of View may not aim to blow the mind or reinvent the craft; it simply promises a fun time with excellent performances all around, and ably delivers.

Track Listing: I'll Remember You; The Dark; New July; Just Listen; Points of View; Koolz; I'll See You; Gaslight Square Blues.

Personnel: Tom Kennedy; electric & acoustic bass, keyboards; Dave Weckl: drums; Bill Evans: sorpano & tenor sax; Charles Blenzig: piano; Karla Harris: vocal; Wes Ritenour: drums; Chuck Loeb: guitar; Bob Franceschini: soprano & tenor sax; Lee Ritenour: guitar; Obed Calvaire: drums; Nick Marcione: trumpet; Randy Brecker: trumpet; Mike Stern: guitar; Richie Morales: drums; Bob Malack: tenor sax.

Title: Points of View | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

SoCal Jazz
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Points of View

Points of View

Self Produced
2017

buy
Just Play!

Just Play!

Capri Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019
Read Transoceanico Album Reviews
Transoceanico
By Patrick Burnette
April 20, 2019
Read Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection Album Reviews
Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 20, 2019
Read Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972 Album Reviews
Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972
By John Kelman
April 19, 2019
Read HUJE 2018 Album Reviews
HUJE 2018
By Jack Bowers
April 19, 2019
Read Farallon Album Reviews
Farallon
By Jerome Wilson
April 19, 2019
Read Burning Meditation Album Reviews
Burning Meditation
By John Sharpe
April 18, 2019