The alto saxophonist has always had bags of dynamism in his music, and its high activity level seems to increase with every release. The opening track of this album, Philly, lulls the listener in with a sedate piano intro from Vernell Brown Jr but it’s not long before the pace and tension increase and by the end Garrett is romping along with added rat-a-tat drive from drummer Ronald Bruner Jr.
Garrett explains the track was inspired by an outdoor festival, and that holiday mood extends to the summer sound of Backyard Groove, the more laid back and Brazilian Bossa and the distinctly island beat of Calypso Chant. For the more sedate among us there is Waltz (3 Sisters), a soprano outing. And then, of course, there is the title track which encourages us all to do our own thing, exactly as Kenny and crew do.
The band is a basic acoustic quartet with added percussion on some tracks. Garrett’s characteristic Trane thing is there on the improvisations in Philly and other tracks, but he has always combined this with a strong R’n’B saxophone attitude to his playing if not his tone which remains more classic jazz.
The inclusion of rapper Donald “Mista Enz” Brown Jr on Wheatgrass Shot (Straight To The Head) feels a little old hat – isn’t this what jazzers trying to be up-to-date were doing in the 1990s? – but the harmony and structure of the track together with its subject matter – the health, or stimulatory, benefits of wheatgrass – redeems it.
Another strong album from the man wth the skull cap, the smile and the quick moves.
Categories: CD review