Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

416

Kenny Garrett: Sketches of MD: Live at The Iridium

Greg Thomas By

Sign in to view read count


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 fuses jazz and blues with allusions to gospel, funk and fusion as well as Asian and African music as on “Intro to Africa” where the Protestant Afro-American church tradition shines through.

Drummer Jamire Williams’ backbeat grounds the title tune, dedicated to Miles, with whom Garrett performed in the last five years of the trumpeter’s life. Garrett employs electronic effects, creating a sound collage that evokes the post-Bitches Brew period. The spacey mood is amplified when the backbeat ends and the quintet plays with a modified free approach.

Garrett is fond of song and album tributes, a refreshing sign of love and respect for his jazz elders. “Wayne’s Thang” refers to Wayne Shorter and, thankfully, the rhythm section finally gets some. The liberal use of breaks gives each player room for short solos; at first the interplay between Gonzalez and Garrett carries the piece until bassist Nat Reeves takes a few riffs, including a too-brief 4/4 walk, a tease for lovers of straight-ahead swing.

Yet the audience’s clapping participation on “Wayne’s Thang” and vocalizations on the feel-good, dance-beat closer “Happy People” shows other interpretations of Ellington’s dictum, “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.”  I’m confessin’, though, that a little taste more of swing rhythm would have made this listener happier.

Track Listing: The Ring; Intro To Africa; Sketches Of MD; Wayne's Thang; Happy People.

Personnel: Kenny Garrett: alto saxophone; Benito Gonzales: piano; Nat Reeves: bass; Jamire Williams: drums; Pharaoh Sanders: tenor saxophone.

Title: Sketches of MD: Live At The Iridium | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records

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.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
May25Sat
Kenny Garrett
Tralf
Buffalo, NY
May25Sat
Kenny Garrett
Tralf
Buffalo, NY
May30Thu
Kenny Garrett
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
May30Thu
Kenny Garrett
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
May31Fri
Kenny Garrett
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
May31Fri
Kenny Garrett
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Jun1Sat
Kenny Garrett
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00

Related Articles

Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019
Read Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band Album Reviews
Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band
By Jerome Wilson
May 23, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019