” Someone should post a storm warning before a Kenny Garrett concert”
– The Washington Post
Legendary saxophonist Kenny Garrett recently returned to the DMV for an in-demand (eight shows in four nights) at the historic Blues Alley in Georgetown. As crowds lined the alley outside of the venue and down the alley, it became apparent that DC was well aware of the high-energy inspiring set that Garrett continues to deliver and knew they were in for a treat. As the summer festival season begins to heat up, so does the intensity of Kenny Garrett’s musical prowess touring across the globe and particularly in the U.S. Just days after a four night run to celebrate the grand opening of the newly opened premier jazz venue Keystone Korner in Baltimore, MD, Garrett was just down I-95 in the nation’s capital playing the intimate Blues Alley for a stellar series of shows with his powerhouse quintet giving devoted jazz lovers an amazing performance which seems to be even better than his uplifting performances just last year at Blues Alley.
Kenny Garrett has played alongside some of the jazz greats including Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Pharoah Sanders, and McCoy Tyner just to name a few. A ferocious saxophonist exuding all of his might into every note, Garrett is truly in a league of his own when it comes to the saxophone. His extensive catalog of works portray his breadth of music experience, knowledge, and creativity. Garrett is an avid listener of all types of music, expanding his ear beyond the realm of jazz and incorporating it into a beautiful melody that we can all identify and relate to. Essentially, Kenny Garrett bridges the gap between traditional jazz and progressive jazz while adding in every other genre in between. One could argue that Garrett is one of the greatest saxophone players around today.
His current quintet line-up includes: DC native Corcoran Holt (bass), Vernell Brown, Jr. (piano), Samuel Laviso (drums), and veteran Rudy Bird (percussion). The quintet incorporates the perfect mix of veteran musicians along with younger creative minds to deliver a sound that could only compliment Garrett’s fierce style of playing. His set included favorites as “Chasing the Wind“, “Haynes Here” (a tribute to Roy Haynes), “Sing a Song of Song“, and “Wayne’s Thang” ( a tribute to Wayne Shorter). Garrett closed the show with the help of the audience in moving renditions of “Wheatgrass Shot”, “Do Your Dance“, followed by an exceptional five minute saxophone solo that totally brought the house down! And finally after the band exited the stage, Garrett enlisted the crowd once again in an acoustic vocal exchange of syncopated melodies bringing the crowd to a thunderous applause.
Kenny Garrett’s performances bring to mind a quote by The Washington Post, – “Someone should post a storm warning before a Kenny Garrett concert.”
For more info / tour dates: www.kennygarrett.com
– Jamaal Bailey
– Photos by: Eric Bailey (AMCL Media)