Kenny Garrett Concert Comments | Music Feature | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Kenny Garrett Concert Comments

Published June 3, 2007 at 2:33 p.m.


Have you ever attended a National Drag Race competition? The vehicles go from zero to 300+MPH in less than 7 seconds in a race that measures 1,320 feet. That's the feeling I got with the first song of last night's performance of the Kenny Garrett concert.   

Excellent musicianship by all concerned. Benito Gonzalez played sheets of music and drove the soloists when he wasn't soloing. Jamire Williams didn't need to solo on his drum kit, because his playing behind each soloist to me was a solo in itself. It reminded me very much of the musical collaboration between Elvin Jones and John Coltrane. While all this interplay was going on, Nat Reeves anchored the music with his steady bass play.   

With a microphone attached to the bell of his horn, Kenny was a perpetual motion machine on stage whether he was soloing or directing/suggesting things to the ensemble. Good song selections with an eye for different tempos.  Beautiful rendition of the classic Naima by both Kenny and special guest Pharoah Sanders. The last song of the night showed that Kenny knows how to work a crowd.   

When Pharoah soloed, he remained steadfast behind his microphone. When he wasn't playing, he would start dancing when the mood hit him. It was almost like a statement to the audience, "Yes, I'll be 67 years old in the fall, but I can still shake my booty". While taking a sip of water during one of Kenny's solos, Pharoah began to blow across the top of his water bottle into the microphone, further demonstrating that he was still capable of improvising at a moment's notice.

Grade for concert=A   Grade for sound=A * 
Great balance and I never took my ear plugs out of my pocket.