Do Your Dance! Kenny Garrett
- 2Backyard Groove06:56
- 3Wheatgrass Shot (Straight to the Head)04:43
- 5Do Your Dance!04:57
- 6Calypso Chant04:37
- 7Waltz (3 Sisters)07:23
- 8Persian Steps08:08
- 9Chasing the Wind05:30
Info for Do Your Dance!
More than any other artist in traditional jazz today, saxophonist/composer/arranger Kenny Garrett and his band are known to entice audiences to want to get up and groove. Be it in Spain where a man from Cameroon leaped up and broke out some African moves then was joined by a young break-dancer, or in Germany where a clearly classically trained ballet dancer was brought to his feet; in Poland where a fan literally jumped from the balcony onto the stage to dance, or at a festival in Barbados where music lovers got on up and grooved in the rain to "Happy People," the spectacle is always the same: the spirit takes over and the movements come naturally. It is this spirit that Garrett has instigated and witnessed from stages around the world that fills Do Your Dance! - the saxophonist's fourth for Mack Avenue Records.
"On Kenny Garrett's fourth Mack Avenue release, 2016's Do Your Dance!, the Detroit-born saxophonist dives headlong into a set of original songs that exploit dance rhythms in subtle, unexpected ways. Conceptually speaking, while there are dance beats from swing, funk, Latin, and more throughout Do Your Dance!, the idea of doing your dance could also simply refer to the idea of doing your own thing and expressing yourself in your own unique way. That seems to be the deeper notion running through much of Garrett's music, which is often explosive, harmonically challenging, and highly engaging here. Joining Garrett are several collaborators from his other Mack Avenue releases, including pianist Vernell Brown, Jr., bassist Corcoran Holt, drummers Ronald Bruner, Jr. and McClenty Hunter, and percussionist Rudy Bird. Together, they have a lively, organic ensemble sound that lends itself to group interplay even during solos. Everybody sounds alert and focused with all ears on Garrett. Bookended by two fiery post-bop swingers in "Philly" and "Chasing the Wind," both of which bring to mind mid-'60s John Coltrane, Do Your Dance! finds Garrett in an eclectic mood. His roiling "Backyard Groove" picks up on the angular circularity of Miles Davis' "Freedom Jazz Dance," while the aptly titled "Bossa" is a fluid, minor-key-tinged exploration the Brazilian sound. Elsewhere, Garrett displays his knack for combining disparate sounds, as on the classically inflected "Wheatgrass Shot (Straight to the Head)" featuring rapper Donald "Mista Enz" Brown, Jr., which sounds delightfully like the Roots making an ECM album. Also unexpected are the ruminative "Waltz (3 Sisters)" and the exotic "Persian Steps," which features Garrett on sax, flute, and the droney, traditional Indian Shruti Box. More expected, but no less impressive, is the buoyant "Calypso Chant," in which Garrett summons the titanic energy and island-inspired hard bop of Sonny Rollins. Ultimately, with Do Your Dance! Garrett has crafted an album that will get your blood flowing to your brain and your feet." (Matt Collar, AMG)
Kenny Garrett, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, percussion, vocals, piano, flute
Vernell Brown Jr, piano, chant
Corcoran Holt, bass
Ronald Brunner, drums
McClenty Hunter, drums
Rudy Bird, percussion
Donald ‘Mista Enz’ Brown, rap
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. With his latest recording (and second for Mack Avenue Records), Seeds From The Underground, Garrett has given notice that these qualities have not only become more impressive, but have provided him with the platform to expand his horizons and communicate his musical vision clearly. Seeds From The Underground is a powerful return to the straight-ahead, acoustic and propulsive quartet format that showcases Garrett’s extraordinary abilities.
For Garrett, Seeds From The Underground is a special recording. It once again consists of all original compositions, and is truly an homage to those who have inspired and influenced him, both personally and musically. “All of these songs are dedicated to someone,” says Garrett. “And the ‘seeds’ have been planted, directly or indirectly, by people who have been instrumental in my development.”
With Seeds From The Underground Garrett has crafted a project that offers his appreciation while always making the listener aware of his band’s skillful approach to melody, harmony and rhythm. From personal nods such as the opening track “Boogety Boogety,” dedicated to his memory of watching western films with his father (the title refers to the sound of a galloping horse); “Wiggins,” which references his high school band director Bill Wiggins; and “Detroit,” an evocative, reflective composition about his hometown, and a celebration of mentor Marcus Belgrave; to his appreciation of some of his musical heroes on “J Mac” (Jackie McLean); “Haynes Here” (Roy Haynes); and “Do Wo Mo” (Duke Ellington, Woody Shaw and Thelonious Monk).
Melody, as a matter of fact, was a key element for the saxophonist when writing for the recording. “I wanted to focus on the melody,” Garrett reflects. “I want people to remember what the melody is before we start improvising…and on some songs I heard voices, the singing of the melody.” This latter point is in evidence on the selections “Haynes Here,” “Detroit” and “Welcome Earth Song.”
Another notable component compositionally for Garrett on Seeds From The Underground is his approach to rhythm and meter. Over the past few years, one of the most popular and acclaimed groups that he has been a part of is the GRAMMY® award winning Five Peace Band, joining guitarist John McLaughlin, pianist Chick Corea, bassist Christian McBride, and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Brian Blade. His participation in that band led him to experiment with writing in different meters. “Some of these songs are in odd meters; in my experience with John, we played some songs in odd meters, so I thought, this is a different way of writing songs,” Garrett states. “So there is some of that approach here.” ....
This album contains no booklet.