Kenny Garrett - Spontaneous Reaction

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Kenny Garrett releases the first live album of his career this month, a quite remarkable addition to his discography stretching back to the 1980s. With free jazz legend Pharoah Sanders joining him, Garrett makes an intriguing sidestep with this project away from his recent Far Eastern and Coltrane preoccupations. Interview :: Kevin Le Gendre

A cynic or possibly a straight talking realist might say that the Radioheaded furore over free music, punter-led pricing and imminent CD oblivion has little relevance to jazz. Very few of its exponents have significant album sales to lose. The idea of living off concerts that has suddenly become Eureka to rock artists has been prevalent among improvising musicians for decades. Of those who have built a sizeable audience through sheer dynamism on stage Kenny Garrett stands tall. Although the Detroit alto saxophonist was already held in some esteem for the quality of releases such as Songbook, his gigs at London’s Pizza Express in the late-1990s generated something that can’t be bottled. The proverbial “buzz.” Marketing by word of mouth.

People talked about the hotness of the Garrett ticket not only for his incandescent soloing and coal fire blues of his tone. There was also a highly engaging personality that appeared to revel in the experience of performing. It may well come as something of a surprise that Garrett’s new release Sketches Of MD is actually his first live album.

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #124 – read the full article click here to subscribe and receive a FREE CD

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