Kenny Garrett - Chinese Whispers

Kenny Garrett is forever etched on the jazz imagination for his touring and recording with Miles Davis in the last period of the trumpeter’s life. Garrett and Miles made the most unlikely songs work. Long since a leader of distinction with many albums under his belt, Garrett made a creative leap of considerable audacity some years ago when he started to incorporate Chinese music into his vision of jazz, moving away from Coltrane tributes and a funkier direction. Andy Robson talks to the alto saxophonist about his new "Great Wall of China" project, dedicated to McCoy Tyner, tracks the erhu down to its lair and discovers what really happened when Kenny-met-Pharoah. Kenny Garrett - Chinese Whispers
Hadrian had a big one, marathon runners hit them, the Israelis are still building one and Roger Waters is forever tearing down great big polystyrene ones. What, you may ask, has this got to do with Kenny Garrett? Well, in typically transcendent style, he’s going beyond his remit. The saxophonist’s wall is the great one in China. For Garrett, whose love of south east Asia is well documented and is reflected in songs such as ‘Gendai’ on Standard Of Language or ‘Asian Medley’ on Happy People, the great wall of China is the ultimate destination. He had always wanted to visit it, along with all the sites, sounds and people of mainland China. It could be seen as an unusual ambition although the Chinese contribution to American is a major one it’s also, like the story of many "minorities" in the USA, largely unrecognised. Before Garrett the most conspicuous American to visit China was Richard Nixon.

There’s also a stereotype that African Americans and eastern peoples don’t get on. The image of clashes between Korean shopkeepers and looters during the Los Angeles troubles has also lingered. But Garrett isn’t interested in stereotypes or polarisations. Like his mentor Miles Davis, he is his own man, endowed with a vision that is idiosyncratically personal, yet linked to wider issues such as black consciousness, spiritual awakening and social awareness that are reflected not so much in an ideology or religion but in the aura of free spirits Garrett likes to hang out with. Beyond The Wall includes Pharoah Sanders, Bobby Hutcherson and, by way of dedication, McCoy Tyner. That’s an awful lot of soul. But let Garrett explain himself.  Andy Robson

-----------------------------------------
Read the rest  \ subscribe here
-----------------------------------------

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Featured Artists

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next
Q&A with Trio HLK

Q&A with Trio HLK

Trio HLK are one of the most distinctive voices to appear on the Scottish jazz scene in recent times. Their debut album, Standard Time was released in May, since when...

Read More.....
Kamasi Washington: the return of the West Coast warrior

Kamasi Washington: the return of the Wes…

Following his critically acclaimed triple-album, 2015’s The Epic, LA saxophonist has circumnavigated the globe with a seemingly endless series of concerts that have cemented his reputation as the go-to spiritual...

Read More.....
John Coltrane: the lost album

John Coltrane: the lost album

The unexpected news of the existence of an unreleased John Coltrane studio session, now issued as Both Directions at Once – The Lost Album, is sure to get the jazz...

Read More.....
Jazz in Mexico today: a beginner's guide

Jazz in Mexico today: a beginner's guide

Patrick McMahon offers a guide to the thriving jazz scene in Mexico, including a list of artists to listen out for. You can enjoy most of these tracks in our...

Read More.....
Jazz drumming and the vision of Jonathan Barber

Jazz drumming and the vision of Jonathan…

Kay Shackelford introduces a bold new force on the jazz drumming scene: Jonathan Barber When listening to Jonathan Barber, there’s an earful of innovative and thoughtful rhythmic execution that causes pause...

Read More.....
All aboard the Blue Note at Sea jazz cruise

All aboard the Blue Note at Sea jazz cru…

Jon Newey experiences the unique musical possibilities of the Blue Note at Sea jazz cruise It’s early Monday morning on 29 January and the day has dawned surprisingly clear. Overnight the grey...

Read More.....
Classic interview with Hugh Masekela: “Hey, instead of rhythm and blues, how about ghetto and Bach?”

Classic interview with Hugh Masekela: “H…

In 2010, Hugh Masekela, the great South African musician and an inspiration in the cultural and political struggle against apartheid, spoke candidly to Jazzwise's Marcus O'Dair about his continued to fight...

Read More.....
Frank Zappa's jazz legacy

Frank Zappa's jazz legacy

Frank Zappa left a huge legacy of pioneering music and outspoken opinions that has proved obliquely influential in shaping the style and attitudes of generations of rock and jazz musicians...

Read More.....
Across the tracks: Ella Fitzgerald's recording of Duke Ellington's ‘I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues’

Across the tracks: Ella Fitzgerald's rec…

Brian Priestley takes the opportunity to put Ella Fitzgerald’s soulful 1957 version of Ellington’s ‘I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues’ under the microscope It’s well known that Ella Fitzgerald had...

Read More.....


Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Office late pm vibes: dulcet guitar arpeggios punctuating raindrops, spirit in Motian @ECMRecords @ProperJazz… https://t.co/N7J5HWDOcM
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Archie Shepp’s Art Songs & Spirituals blows the blues away at Barbican https://t.co/VwHEFpEUbB https://t.co/mmoiGPFKG3
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA