With his new album (SOUNDS OF THE ANCESTORS) just around the bend, I decided to revisit the music of saxophonist Kenny Garrett to refamiliarize myself with his voice. As jazz enthusiasts, we can be a bit finicky, and frankly Flatout judgemental about whose playing what style in this beloved genre. It shouldn’t have been no surprise that Kenny at this time in 1996 decided to pay tribute to the music of jazz legend John Coltrane’s vast catalog with his own virtuosity and fresh interpretations of these classics titled “PURSUANCE: THE MUSIC OF JOHN COLTRANE.”
With “PURSUANCE,” considering he’s been mentored by Miles Davis Garrett has honed his own anointed style, agency, and will to render with respect to these 11 bewildering masterpieces through a purpose-driven vision is thoughtful, unyielding, appointed grace, power, and soulfulness I imagined this Qwest would be. It’s apparent, to accomplish his goal, he called upon this seasoned ensemble of players drummer Brian Blade, guitarist Pat Metheny, and bassist Rodney Whitaker to the session as partners and journeymen to engrave their unique signatures with engaging and unmatched interplay soar effortlessly without reinventing the wheel as only accomplished musicians can do.
No doubt about it, my favorite selections on this project are like earworms these electrifying gems propelled with expected gravity required to keep one’s attention “EQUINOX, DEAR LORD, LONNIE’S LAMENT, LIKE SUNNY, PURSUANCE, ALABAMA, GIANT STEPS and concludes with LATIFAH” will assure that Kenny Garrett, if you didn’t know, affirms his place as a supreme player, a pillar and living giant among jazz musicians of yesterday, today, and beyond. ~Reviewed by Rob Young
At your leisure, be sure a listen to “PURSUANCE: THE MUSIC OF JOHN COLTRANE” by Kenny Garrett.