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The Real Kenny Garrett back at Catalinas Bar and Grill

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There is no doubt that when the real Kenny G. stands up, Catalina Bar and Grill gets packed with jazz lovers who know and understand the true meaning of integrity in the music. This is the second night of Kenny Garrett’s run here at Catalina’s and he comes fueled with creativity, inspiration and a dynamic power that continues to plateaus the list of alto players of his generation.

Kenny is known for having a killer rhythm section that is rich with fierce and vivacious energy. These cats play with such intensity that drives the music to another dimension. This is no laid back rhythm section. I see Kenny every time that he comes to town and I have always known him to have a hard hitting drummer with a voice and a message that demands to be heard! Spitting bullets like Al Capone, Ronald Brunner excites as well as entertains as he drums up an array of powerful polyrhythms, grooves and a solid foundation for Kenny to cut, dodge, flow, scream and reign down his supreme sound.

On bass, Kris Funn was all over it. He was throwing down some multi-layered textured chords, rhythmic strums and perfectly toned harmonics that were so engaging while Carlos McKinney played some beautiful comps, dropping in his Tynerisms at a moments notice. The audience roars with excitement after each intriguing solos. These cats dig into the music as if their life and reputation were on the line for every note. It is because of this integrity for the quality of the sound that there is much respect for this band and their music.

Kenny never keeps still when he plays. It was hard for me to get some clear shots of him. He rocks and sways while the most fluid, poignant, prolific and intensely beautiful notes flow through his alto. You can hear the homage to the historic lineage of the horn in his sound combined with the innovation and technical ability that he possesses. The masters smile as that look down and send their universal love and gracious approval.

Serious about the music and the future of it, Kenny has all of the elements for the perfect chocolate. The ingredients include a little soul, funk and hip-hop mixed in with a hard core straight ahead jazz base to make this recipe a tremendous success.

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LeRoy Downs

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