More than any other artist in traditional jazz today, saxophonist, composer and arranger Kenny Garrett and his band are known to entice audiences to want to get up and groove to their live music. Regardless of the nationality of who listens to & enjoys his concerts, the spirit that grips the audience provokes a party ambience in a most natural manner. This is the same spirit Garrett has instigated & witnessed in his many worldwide tours, and is transmitted in the album Do Your Dance, his fourth release on the Mark Avenue Records label.
Do Your Dance is a travelogue of different rhythms, from the melody of “Calypso Chant” and the inspiring “Bossa”, born in Brasil to the spirit of a summer barbeque of “Backyard Groove” & “Philly”, a theme inspired by the folk at an outdoor street festival where the band played near Temple University, Philadelphia. “That older generation was going in – dancing to hard bop, funkafied fire and calypso…anything we threw at them! That’s how people used to dance”.
Rounding out Do Your Dance are “Persian Steps” (built from the ground up with just Ronald Bruner, Jr. on drums and Garrett on piano, later adding flute, a chant, and Shruti box–an Indian accordion he discovered in Germany) and “Chasing the Wind” (Garrett composing a piece at top speed in the tradition of bop standards that jazz musicians challenge themselves with by playing at triple time). Garrett dedicated “Waltz” to his sisters “my sisters have always been my support system in every way. Wherever I show up, they’re the first ones there. Sometimes you take it for granted because that’s family…but it doesn’t have to be that way. So I wrote one for them.”
Aside from Bruner, who, since gigging with Garrett, has played with artists like Stevie Wonder & Kamasi Washington, the saxophonist is joined by another drummer, McClenty Hunter, who was collaborated with Garrett on his last album, Pushing the World Away. Also returning is bassist Corcoran Holt who Kenny first encountered four years ago at Blues Alley in D.C. Percussionist Rudy Bird goes back with Garrett to a 1983 tour of “Sophisticated Ladies” and has since played with Michael Jackson and Lauryn Hill. Then there is pianist Vernell Brown, Jr. Who has played with the saxophonist since 2002. Finally, there is Garrett’s longtime co-producer Donald Brown, an old friend from days when, as a pianist, he shared the bandstand in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his right-hand man on sessions on & off since Garrett’s highest chart-topper, African Exchange Student, in 1990.
Kenny Garrett, born in Detroit, nominated five times for the Grammy Award and winner in the year 2010 as a member of the ‘Five Peace Band’, led by Chick Corea & John McLaughlin, was presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Berklee College of Music in 2011. His distinguished credits extend from starting with the Duke Ellington Orchestra to Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Donald Byrd & Miles Davis (with whom he rose to international stardom), to contemporary stars such as Marcus Miller, Sting, Q-Tip and Cameo.
KENNY GARRETT QUINTET
Kenny Garrett: Saxophones
Vernell Brown: Piano
Corcoran Holt: Bass
Samuel Laviso: Drums
Rudy Bird: Percussion