Kenny Garrett arrives at Kongsberg Jazz Festival with a band that is formally bursting with fun and offers the audience a happy and rhythmically diverse music party.
Review from The Guardian by John Fordham:
Jazz fans dance at Kenny Garrett’s gigs – the energy of the former alto saxist is infectious.
Unlike some pop-leaning jazz players, though, he doesn’t dumb down the skill with which he burns through mazy,
hard-bop tunes as if they were nursery rhymes. But this mostly funky and fast-moving set is aimed at booty-shaking,
which raises the only catch – that Garrett live and Garrett in a studio can be two different propositions.
The scale-skimming, Giant Steps-like sax improvisation of the opener is anchored on Vernell Brown Jr’s McCoy Tyner chordwork; Backyard Groove is rugged and rootsy, while Wheatgrass Shot is a nervy, anguished rap from Mista Enz, the son of producer Donald Brown.
The funky title track features Garrett cannily building his soul-sax solo in fragments and prods, letting the rhythm section hold it together. The gentle soprano-sax weave of Waltz (3 Sisters) thickens to an almost abstract intensity, and the mood piece Persian Steps with its didgeridoo-like sounds underpinning the leader’s flute – is a teasing glimpse of a more intimately personal album.
Kenny Garrett, alto & tenorsax
Corcoran Holt, aucustic bass
Vernell Brown, piano
Melvis Santa, vocal og keys
Rudy Bird, percussion
Ronald Bruner, drums
Thierry Girard, sound