Saturday, September 30, 2006

Garrett with a Fake Punt (or four)

Today I was ventured in the border of Southy (or the South End anyway) for the Beantown Jazz Festival along running along Columbus Avenue. I hear Appleton was having their own block party this very same day, but I bet theirs didn't have.......KENNY GARRETT!!!!!!111111oneoneone

Drifting once again into vague autobiographical nonsense when I started going to Lawrence I was an affirmed metalhead. (Don't worry guys who think I've sold out, Dream Evil #1 forever) Interestingly enough my fastest friends upon arrival were a pretentious jazz guitarist and a pretetenious jazz saxophonist, so they had a grand old time throwing their favorite CDs at me to see which ones would stick. All sort of strategies were contocted: guitar masters, free jazz, funky organ trios. Lo and behold, the CD that would plant the seed of doubt it my head was none other Songbook by Mr. Kenny Garrett.

More specifically his treatment of "Sing a Song of Song". The chart is terrifyingly sparse, there isn't a seventh to be seen and some of the chords don't even have thirds. The band takes full advantage of all that open space to overlay ten types of exoticism over it. That sort of trick came to mind a lot during the set, especially when the ass end of the quartet sat out leaving Garrett and pianist Benito Gonzalez for a medley of three Asian folk songs. (I didn't catch the outer two, but even having only spent two weeks in Korea "Arirang" shot through the air.) To me, Kenny Garrett is at his best when painting with quick turns on an open canvas. The Rothko to Coltrane's Pollack. I'm going to be murdered for that analogy.

Either way it was greatly satisfying to see the man who got me listening to this crazy shit. After all the exoticism the band ended with "Happy People" and faked out the audience not once but four times with big holds to raging clapping, only to drop the groove on us again. Way to work the crowd.

Two notes: 1) I wasn't able to stay at the festival for long after his set, but I was able to take a couple pictures with my trusty (?) camera. In fact, it was at the festival that started my second roll and hope to post pictures soon but jerks at CVS only put two of the pictures on the CD. Not a value.
2) On the way there my iPod attempted to offer me Miles's Amandla. I'm not sure if the curse works for jazz players, but I didn't want to chance it.

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