KENNY GARRETT, SEEDS FROM THE UNDERGROUND

“Seeds From The Underground," saxophonist Kenny Garrett’s second recording for the Mack Avenue label, catches the alto player heading up an all-original date with pianist Benito Gonzalez, bassist Nat Reeves, drummer Ronald Bruner and percussionist Rudy Bird. Press notes confirm Garrett’s affection for melody and rhythm and “Seeds” gives us the lyrical side of the saxophonist, who dedicates each tune on the recording to musical friends, teachers and heroes that Garrett has encountered during his illustrious 30-year career.

There’s a wide range of feeling and mood on the recording, from the exuberant post bop surge of “J Mac” (written for Jackie McLean) to the groove-based lines on “Wiggins,” written for his high school ban director. Keith Jarrett, Ellington, Monk and drummer Roy Haynes each get a tune written for them, along with musical praise for Mother Earth (“Welcome Earth Song”) and the music of Guadeloupe. As a composer Garrett covers a lot of bases and history – “Detroit” incorporates the static layer of pops and clicks of a worn vinyl LP and brings in vocalist Nedelka Prescod to evoke the music Duke Pearson arranged for Donald Byrd’s 1964 album, “A New Perspective,” with nods to “Chant” and “Cristo Redentor.”

Garrett has always been an innovator. His muscular tone and taut phrasing mesh well with the Latin tinge he gives most of his originals and at its core, “Seeds” illustrates Garrett’s high standard for playing jazz and the album makes a convincing musical statement for both the man and his inspirations. (10 tracks; 70:04 minutes) 

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JAZZ IN SPACE: KENNY GARRETT, SEEDS FROM THE UNDERGROUND

Thursday, April 26, 2012

KENNY GARRETT, SEEDS FROM THE UNDERGROUND

“Seeds From The Underground," saxophonist Kenny Garrett’s second recording for the Mack Avenue label, catches the alto player heading up an all-original date with pianist Benito Gonzalez, bassist Nat Reeves, drummer Ronald Bruner and percussionist Rudy Bird. Press notes confirm Garrett’s affection for melody and rhythm and “Seeds” gives us the lyrical side of the saxophonist, who dedicates each tune on the recording to musical friends, teachers and heroes that Garrett has encountered during his illustrious 30-year career.

There’s a wide range of feeling and mood on the recording, from the exuberant post bop surge of “J Mac” (written for Jackie McLean) to the groove-based lines on “Wiggins,” written for his high school ban director. Keith Jarrett, Ellington, Monk and drummer Roy Haynes each get a tune written for them, along with musical praise for Mother Earth (“Welcome Earth Song”) and the music of Guadeloupe. As a composer Garrett covers a lot of bases and history – “Detroit” incorporates the static layer of pops and clicks of a worn vinyl LP and brings in vocalist Nedelka Prescod to evoke the music Duke Pearson arranged for Donald Byrd’s 1964 album, “A New Perspective,” with nods to “Chant” and “Cristo Redentor.”

Garrett has always been an innovator. His muscular tone and taut phrasing mesh well with the Latin tinge he gives most of his originals and at its core, “Seeds” illustrates Garrett’s high standard for playing jazz and the album makes a convincing musical statement for both the man and his inspirations. (10 tracks; 70:04 minutes) 

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