Kenny Garrett and Svoy, Who Killed AI? Mack Avenue ***1/2

A remote human interrogator, within a fixed time frame, must distinguish between a computer and a human subject based on their replies to various questions posed by the interrogator. That's called the Turing Test. The sometimes wry and knowing …

Published: 3 Mar 2024. Updated: 2 months.

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A remote human interrogator, within a fixed time frame, must distinguish between a computer and a human subject based on their replies to various questions posed by the interrogator. That's called the Turing Test.

The sometimes wry and knowing ''Garrett Svoy Test'' meanwhile knows that AI isn't the tail that wags the jazz dog. Certainly an album not afraid to tinker with programming and striking in its skittering, hugely up-tempo runaway motion one that even Chase & Status, the electronica producers who won at the Brits last night, might be at home with.

With more beats per minute than a stack of ECMs, Svoy, aka Mikhail Tarasov, Garrett has worked with before. But this is the first time that the electronica maven shares a co-credit on the cover with Garrett.

The Detroit saxophonist, who was one of Miles Davis' best late-period collaborators and who since has led his own bands to no little acclaim and influenced the likes of next gen wiz Immanuel Wilkins, runs the AI voodoo down with gusto.

The seven tracks on this latest album were recorded mostly in KG's New Jersey living room. Svoy contributes programming, vocals and piano and shares all the original writing and arranging credits with Garrett - the majority of tunes on the album.

The altoist/soprano sax player's last album was 2021's acclaimed and very different Sounds From the Ancestors. And Who Killed AI also feeds in - against all odds - a cover of 'My Funny Valentine'. The good news is it's all fun and often a roller coaster ride. Some of the Garrett sax solos are as ferociously compelling as Savoy period Charlie Parker.

Out on 12 April. Opening track 'Ascendence' is streaming. Photos; Mack Avenue

Tags: Reviews

Yotam Silberstein, Standards, Jojo ***1/2

Richard Rodgers' 'If I Loved You' we lingered longest over particularly as we liked the Ray Brown Trio's live version on the album Bam Bam Bam from the 1980s later reissued under another title. If you feared the same old same old given the …

Published: 3 Mar 2024. Updated: 2 months.

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Richard Rodgers' 'If I Loved You' we lingered longest over particularly as we liked the Ray Brown Trio's live version on the album Bam Bam Bam from the 1980s later reissued under another title. If you feared the same old same old given the standards theme as we did embarking on the thought of the album conceptually, listening as ever proves such guesswork wrong. They are the gift from Broadway, balladry and bebop - also Brazilian music in this regard - that keep on giving in the right hands as here. Proving something of an education partly it's because of the repertoire, partly it's because of the flair and deep song experience displayed by the collection of leaders that the Tel Aviv born New York scene player has with him.

Tenor saxophone icon George Coleman known for his classic work with Miles Davis on Seven Steps to Heaven and whose own tune 'Lo-Joe' on which he features is here. ''Big George'' as a recent One For All release has it is also on 'Never Let Me Go,' a tune impossible to tire of. Then there's bassist John Patitucci whose long tenure in the Wayne Shorter Quartet proved essential, and Billy Hart, the Herbie Hancock Mwandishi era eminence immaculate with Kevin Hays on For Heaven's Sake a few years ago, completes the personnel on drums. Miles Davis' 'Little Willie Leaps' interpreted by Ronnie Scott's Boptet in the 1950s but rarely covered in recent years is one of the fine choices here - it goes back to Miles' first recordings in 1947 with Charlie Parker.

Best of all Victor Young's 1940s classic 'Stella By Starlight' is kept to last. At this point listening we immediately paused to reach for Joe Pass' solo version from half a century ago on the great guitarist's Virtuoso album for a resonable but not at all exact comparison given the individualism of all jazz players of these icons' calibre. Silberstein's is so different sonically but stands up extremely well alongside the mastery Pass achieved. We have only heard Silberstein play live once and that memory from an appearance on an outdoors stage in Valletta has stayed with us approaching 13 years on and is certainly enhanced all over again by this new release. He was the fully formed article back then, he just goes deeper as the Jazz & People track Dada in 2022 also indicated.

Yotam Silberstein, photo: Dan Balilty