More than any other artist in traditional jazz today, Kenny Garrett and his band are known to entice audiences to want to get up and groove. The Grammy award winning saxophonist is considered to be the 'most important alto saxophonist of his generation' (Washington City Paper) and 'one of the most admired alto saxophonists in jazz after Charlie Parker' (The New York Times).
Kenny Garrett's great new album "Sounds from the Ancestors" recalls the sounds of West African music and its role in Jazz, Gospel, Motown, Hip-Hop and more. "Sounds from the Ancestors" was released on August 27, 2021 via Mack Avenue Records and immediately topped the iTunes Jazz chart! It is a multi-faceted album. The music, however, doesn’t lodge inside the tight confines of the jazz idiom, which is not surprising considering the alto saxophonist and composer acknowledges the likes of Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye as significant touchstones. Similar to how Miles Davis’ seminal LP, On the Corner, subverted its main guiding lights – James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone – then crafted its own unique, polyrhythmic, groove-laden, improv-heavy universe, Sounds from the Ancestors occupies its own space with intellectual clarity, sonic ingenuity and emotional heft. “The concept initially was about trying to get some of the musical sounds that I remembered as a kid growing up – sounds that lift your spirit from people like John Coltrane, ‘A Love Supreme’; Aretha Franklin, ‘Amazing Grace’; Marvin Gaye, ‘What’s Going On’; and the spiritual side of the church,” Garrett explains. “When I started to think about them, I realized it was the spirit from my ancestors.” Indeed, Sounds from the Ancestors reflects the rich jazz, R&B, and gospel history of his hometown of Detroit. More important though, it also reverberates with a modern cosmopolitan vibrancy – notably the inclusion of music coming out of France, Cuba, Nigeria and Guadeloupe. Over the course of a stellar career that has spanned more than 30 years, saxophonist Kenny Garrett has become the preeminent alto saxophonist of his generation. From his first gig with the Duke Ellington Orchestra (led by Mercer Ellington) through his time spent with musicians such as Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers and Miles Davis, Garrett has always brought a vigorous yet melodic, and truly distinctive, alto saxophone sound to each musical situation. As a bandleader for the last two decades, he has also continually grown as a composer.
Available / On Tour:
May, June, July, September, October, November 2023