Seeds from the Underground

Seeds from the Underground

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by 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 See more details below

Overview

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 .

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/10/2012
Label:
Mack Avenue
UPC:
0673203106321
catalogNumber:
1063
Rank:
132780

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kenny Garrett   Primary Artist,Piano,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Donald Brown   Vocals
Rudy Bird   Percussion,Vocals,Bata
Rusty Chops   Vocals
Nat Reeves   Bass
Benito Gonzalez   Piano
Ronald Bruner   Drums
Nedelka Prescod   Vocals
Misha Tarasov   Vocals
Sengbe Kona Khasu   Vocals

Technical Credits

Donald Brown   Producer
Greg Calbi   Mastering
Kenny Garrett   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Todd Whitelock   Engineer
Maria Ehrenreich   Producer
Tino Passante   Studio Manager
Timothy Zach   Art Direction
Gretchen Valade   Liner Notes,Executive Producer

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