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Kenny Garrett|Seeds from the Underground

Seeds from the Underground

Kenny Garrett

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On his sophomore Mack Avenue date, saxophonist Kenny Garrett has taken a back-to-basics approach to melodic composition with some compelling twists and turns. Seeds from the Underground is a set of ten new originals, performed by his standard group -- bassist Nat Reeves and pianist Benito Gonzalez -- with drummer Ronald Bruner (who also hails from Garrett's hometown of Detroit) and percussionist Rudy Bird. While the framework of nearly everything here stays firmly within the post-bop frame, Garrett' structural reliance on intricate, memorable melody is a keen lift-off point for group interplay. Opener "Boogety Boogety" features him head to head with Gonzalez, whose large chord voicings recall McCoy Tyner, though his brightly hued harmonics are his own. Bird's percussion drives the tune along the top, adding a Latin feel. "J Mac," inspired by Jackie McLean, is a sprint that draws on McLean's ability to cover bases from Charlie Parker to John Coltrane while keeping his own sense of lyricism inherent. Garrett's solo is knotty, unchained, and pyrotechnic. Bruner's kit just pops, double-timing the band. "Detroit," a ballad, hovers between wistful and noirish. It's evocative of an earlier era (especially with the sound of a turntable needle on a vinyl record's blank space), with one caveat: the lovely, understated, wordless vocals of Nedelka Prescod. The title track features Garrett on soprano, with some athletic rhythmic turns that Bruner and Bird (the latter on bata drums) shine inside. Here, too, one can hear the influence of Tyner, not only on Gonzalez, but in Garrett's harmonic extensions. "Welcome Earth Song" finds Prescod and a chorus of vocalists underscoring a gorgeous folk melody in a beautiful, sprightly 21st century post-bop presentation. "Ballad Jarrett" also features Garrett on soprano, it's spare, warm, lush, and haunting. Each piece here is resonant. On Seeds from the Underground, the boundary of Garrett's lyricism has been extended; his newfound rhythmic invention is singular among other post-bop technicians. But these qualities are part of something larger: that this music is welcoming and accessible, underscoring the notion that Garrett's new compositions have that mercurial something in them that approaches the mysterious nature of song itself .
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Seeds from the Underground

Kenny Garrett

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1
Boogety Boogety
00:09:03

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

2
J. Mac
00:06:26

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

3
Wiggins
00:07:37

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

4
Haynes Here
00:07:27

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

5
Detroit
00:04:21

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

6
Seeds from the Underground
00:08:08

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

7
Du-Wo-Mo
00:08:16

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

8
Welcome Earth Song
00:08:43

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

9
Ballad Jarrett
00:06:22

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

10
Laviso, i bon?
00:03:38

Greg Calbi, MasteringEngineer - KENNY GARRETT, Composer, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Todd Whitelock, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Donald Brown, Producer - Kenny Garrett Publishing (BMI), MusicPublisher - Tim Marchiafava, AssistantEngineer - Damon Whittemore, AdditionalMixingEngineer - Fernando Lodeiro, AssistantEngineer

(C) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2012 Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

Album review

On his sophomore Mack Avenue date, saxophonist Kenny Garrett has taken a back-to-basics approach to melodic composition with some compelling twists and turns. Seeds from the Underground is a set of ten new originals, performed by his standard group -- bassist Nat Reeves and pianist Benito Gonzalez -- with drummer Ronald Bruner (who also hails from Garrett's hometown of Detroit) and percussionist Rudy Bird. While the framework of nearly everything here stays firmly within the post-bop frame, Garrett' structural reliance on intricate, memorable melody is a keen lift-off point for group interplay. Opener "Boogety Boogety" features him head to head with Gonzalez, whose large chord voicings recall McCoy Tyner, though his brightly hued harmonics are his own. Bird's percussion drives the tune along the top, adding a Latin feel. "J Mac," inspired by Jackie McLean, is a sprint that draws on McLean's ability to cover bases from Charlie Parker to John Coltrane while keeping his own sense of lyricism inherent. Garrett's solo is knotty, unchained, and pyrotechnic. Bruner's kit just pops, double-timing the band. "Detroit," a ballad, hovers between wistful and noirish. It's evocative of an earlier era (especially with the sound of a turntable needle on a vinyl record's blank space), with one caveat: the lovely, understated, wordless vocals of Nedelka Prescod. The title track features Garrett on soprano, with some athletic rhythmic turns that Bruner and Bird (the latter on bata drums) shine inside. Here, too, one can hear the influence of Tyner, not only on Gonzalez, but in Garrett's harmonic extensions. "Welcome Earth Song" finds Prescod and a chorus of vocalists underscoring a gorgeous folk melody in a beautiful, sprightly 21st century post-bop presentation. "Ballad Jarrett" also features Garrett on soprano, it's spare, warm, lush, and haunting. Each piece here is resonant. On Seeds from the Underground, the boundary of Garrett's lyricism has been extended; his newfound rhythmic invention is singular among other post-bop technicians. But these qualities are part of something larger: that this music is welcoming and accessible, underscoring the notion that Garrett's new compositions have that mercurial something in them that approaches the mysterious nature of song itself .
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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