Powerful altoist Kenny Garrett comes to town

Kenny Garrett

Kenny Garrett

At 17 he was playing in the Duke Ellington Orchestra, by 21 he was in the Mel Lewis Orchestra and was also with Charles Mingus’s drummer Dannie Richmond. He would go on to perform with everyone from Art Blakey and Miles Davis to Brad Mehldau and Pharaoh Sanders, and play many gigs as well as make many albums as a band leader. The New York Times once called him “one of the most admired saxophonists in jazz after Charlie Parker”.

And he’ll be here in person on Tuesday in Birmingham Town Hall, courtesy of Jazzlines. In fact, Jazzlines has done the alto saxophone fans proud recently, as Kenny Garrett visits less than three months after another influential master of the instrument, Steve Coleman.

Like Coleman, Garrett is bringing his own band. It comprises Corcoran Holt on acoustic bass, Vernell Brown on piano, McClenty Hunter on drums and Rudy Bird on percussion. That last instrument is crucial to the sound Garrett has been developing in recent times, with a heavy African drumming influence as well as Latin rhythms to underpin the jazz flights. Garrett himself is as partial to and fluent on the straight soprano as he is on the simply curved alto.

I think we can expect some state of the art power and energy from a band that digs deep into the essentials of modern American jazz music.

  • For more details and to book tickets go here.

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