A Night with Kenny Garret at Dizzyâ€™s Coca Cola
There can be no denying the excellence of Kenny Garrett's work which manifests itself in his ability to bring out the best in the players in his band, at any given time.
When your musical resume includes membership in the bands of Miles Davis and Chic Cora it is understandable that you would merit headlining New York City's top Jazz club, for an entire week.
That explains why alto saxist Kenny Garrett and his band could hold fort for six nights (12 sets) at the exclusive Dizzy's Coca Cola club overlooking Central Park.
Garrett is a most accomplished musician/composer and a keeper of the flame of straight ahead jazz. Although his work is extensive he is mostly identified for his service with the Miles Davis' band and particularly for his famous solo on Michael Jackson's "Human Nature".
Kenny Garrett and his band with pianist Vernell Brown, bassist Corcoran Holt, McClenty Hunter on drums and Rudy Bird on assorted percussion, proved to be its own force of nature even on a cold Sunday night in December with the natural elements in a foul mood.
The band opened the set with the tune "Boogety Boogety” featuring the extended alto saxophone solo-play by the master Kenny Garrett which took the audience on that astral trip of overlapping chords and tonal inflections, literally invoking the spirit of Coltrane. The opening piece serve to whet the appetite for other beautiful arrangements that followed.
His renditions of “J Mac' and "Detroit" showcased the masterful play of pianist Vernell Brown and bassist Corcoran Holt.
Garrett has seemingly succeeded in developing an acute level of communication within his band and is pure pleasure to watch with their constant eye contact during performance. Hunter and Bird maintained the musical temperature at boiling point throughout the set and on tunes "Haynes Here" and "Seeds from underground" they literally painted the rhythmic pictures intended.
There can be no denying the excellence of Kenny Garrett's work which manifests itself in his ability to bring out the best in the players in his band, at any given time. As he closed the evening's final set with the tune "Happy People", Garrett had us all clapping hands and tapping feet, his audience’s gracious and symbolic “thank you” for an evening of great and spiritually uplifting music.
We were all indeed, happy jazz people.