Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

TITLE TRACK OF KENNY GARRETT'S FIRST ALBUM IN 5 YEARS STREAMS

Now with the title track streaming on Sounds From the Ancestors that includes a tribute to Roy Hargrove and a homage to the black church Kenny Garrett's first album in 5 years shows its considerable pedigree. The issuing label Mack Avenue quotes …

Published: 26 Jul 2021. Updated: 2 years.

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Now with the title track streaming on Sounds From the Ancestors that includes a tribute to Roy Hargrove and a homage to the black church Kenny Garrett's first album in 5 years shows its considerable pedigree.

The issuing label Mack Avenue quotes Garrett who explains that the upcoming album “examines the roots of West African music in the framework of jazz, gospel, Motown, hip-hop, and all other genres that have descended from jùjú and Yoruban music. It’s crucial to acknowledge the ancestral roots in the sounds we’ve inhabited under the aesthetics of Western music.”

In personnel there is continuum with Do Your Dance as pianist Vernell Brown, Jr., bassist Corcoran Holt, drummer Ronald Bruner and percussionist Rudy Bird are on the upcoming record. And they go back a long time with Garrett on the road.

Hearing Garrett live at a blistering show in London's Soho basement shrine Pizza Express Jazz Club as long ago as 2012, for example, Garrett's rapport with Brown and Holt were significant and remain so. That was one of the best jazz club show performances in more than 30 years of writing about jazz that I have been privileged to witness.

Guests include legendary Return to Forever icon drummer Lenny White pianist/organist Johnny Mercier, trumpeter Maurice Brown, conguero Pedrito Martinez, batá percussionist Dreiser Durruthy and singers Dwight Trible, Jean Baylor, Linny Smith, Chris Ashley Anthony and Sheherazade Holman.

Detroiter Garrett, 60, who first shot to jazz stardom at the time of late-period Miles Davis meshing marvellously with Miles and who has become influential on a new generation of leaders including notably the formidable Immanuel Wilkins, plays piano and sings in some album passages in addition to leading from the sax. On the 'For Art’s Sake' track streaming ahead of release Garrett pays homage to not only Art Blakey but the late Tony Allen via Afrobeat rhythm and conga call.

Kenny Garrett, photo: Hollis King

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Track of the day: WiFi CaBel's 'You do The Math,' CAM Jazz ****

Drawn from Unplugged 'You Do the Math' new on the CAM Jazz Label was written by Paul Wiltgen, top, best known for his work with the world class piano trio Reis-Wiltgen-Demuth whose album Sly this year is one of 2021's best. 'You do the Math' lands …

Published: 26 Jul 2021. Updated: 2 years.

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Drawn from Unplugged 'You Do the Math' new on the CAM Jazz Label was written by Paul Wiltgen, top, best known for his work with the world class piano trio Reis-Wiltgen-Demuth whose album Sly this year is one of 2021's best. 'You do the Math' lands more in an extrovert jazz-rock-into-prog onslaught than most. Pol Belardi on bass guitar reminds me a little of Massimo Biolcati when he plays bass guitar certainly for sheer chops and there are few who can match Biolcati. Wiltgen is on drums and is more a high performance time precision machine than you will hear him in piano trio mode.

The band change the accents and tempo pretty often and there are more corners than a treacherous chicane on a motor racing circuit in the arrangement. Claudio Filippini on Rhodes is maximalist rather than minimalist and this track may not show his whole range but in combination with the busy guitar lines of Federico Casagrande a panoramic sound certainly evolves. You may either love or detest the name of the band, the conceit of the word play continued in the naming of the record (although of course it's easier to digest as Wi for Wiltgen Fi for Filippini, Ca for Casagrande and Bel for Belardi. Recorded by one of the world's greatest jazz engineers Stefano Amerio in his top studio in Italy this is a quality product that gets outrageously absorbing and even more rewarding the deeper you journey to its heart.