Friday, July 26, 2013

Kenny Garrett Pushing The World Away Mack Avenue 2013

Kenny Garrett goes deep inside his own music for his finest release to date.
Brent Black / @CriticalJazz

Wanna get away?

Kenny Garrett took it upon himself to tweak his priorities and put the world on his musical back burner while going to a deeper place of artistic self discovery than with any previous release.
Pushing The World Away is an intimate and incredibly introspective look at the various  influences that have shaped Kenny Garrett to become perhaps the most influential alto saxophonist since Paul Desmond and Lee Konitz picked up the torch from the great Charlie Parker.

Here we find Kenny Garrett paying homage to friends and heroes including Chick Corea, Latin icon Chucho Valdes, tenor legend Sonny Rollins and personal confidant and album co-producer Donald Brown. The critically acclaimed Seeds From The Underground could be considered the first installment to this fitting followup and journey of self exploration with Garrett hitting his stride as a composer and his creative apex as an instrumentalist.

As Garrett further solidifies his place as perhaps this generations most lyrically gifted soloist, the diversity in compositions are tonal hues of melodic flavor encompassing the Spanish vibe of "Hey Chick" for Chick Corea and the vibrant "Chucho's Mambo" for Latin legend Chuco Valdes. This Cuban salsa riff on the possibilities of what might have been when paired with Valdes is perhaps one of the most addictive tunes on this release. "Brother Brown" includes a three person string section for an evocative and emotionally stirring tune featuring Garrett on piano. From a three person string section to perhaps three of the finest drummers on the planet in McClenty Hunter, Marcus Baylor and Mark Whitfield Jr., Pushing The World Away holds true to form as a rare jazz collective where all the co-conspirators are operating on equal footing and not simply acting as after thoughts or human metronomes at the will of the project leader.

Eleven of the twelve tunes here are Garrett originals with the notable selection of the Burt Bacharach / Hal David composition "I Say A Little Prayer" which is a delightful reharm of the 1967 AM radio pop smash for Dionne Warwick. A highly personal release reflective of the artistic and spiritual grounding of arguably the finest alto saxophonist of our time, Pushing The World Away is the perfect bookend to Seeds From The Underground and is a resounding success on just about every conceivable level.

Five_star_rating : Five stars ratings Stock Photo

Tracks: A Side Order of Hijiki; Hey, Chick; Chucho's Mambo; Lincoln Center; J'ouvert (Homage To Sonny Rollins); That's It; I Say A Little Prayer; Pushing The World Away; Homma San; Brother Brown; Alpha Man; Rotation.

Personnel: Kenny Garrett: Alto Sax (1-7, 9, 11-12) Soprano Sax (8) Chant (8) Piano (10); Benito Gonzalez: Piano (1-3, 5-7,9,12); Corcoran Holt: Bass (1-12); Marcus Baylor: Drums (1-3, 5-6, 9, 12); Rudy Bird: Percussion: (3, 5-7, 9) Cymbals and Gong (8); Ravi Best: Trumpet: (3); Vernell Brown: Piano (4,8,11-12) Chant (8); McClenty Hunter: Drums (4,7,10,12) Vocals (6); Mark Whitfield, Jr.: Drums (8, 11-12); Jean Baylor: Vocals (9); Carolin Pook: Violin (10); Brian Sanders: Cello (10); Jen Herman: Viola (10).

International Street Date 09/02/2013
U.S. & Canada Street Date 09/17/2013