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Ken Navarro

Ken Navarro

Ken Navarro’s latest album, Slow Dance, features the funky jazz-pop colored with delicate acoustic and electric guitar that he’s made his name on during a 12-year solo career, but it also marks some profound changes for the smooth-jazz guitarist. For over a decade, Navarro has run Maryland-based Positive Music, which has released all of his albums, but last year he signed with Shanachie Records. “It really was a difficult thing for me to see myself jumping to another label, but it got to the point at Positive where we just weren’t able to do the things that needed to be done to get me to the next level,” Navarro says, and that “the nature of independent distribution has gotten extremely difficult in the last 18 months.”

Slow Dance’s grooving, gracefully melodic compositions include “28 (For Kristin),” a loving tribute to his wife, who is also his manager and one of the principals at Positive Music. Four tracks feature Navarro’s old friend, saxophonist Eric Marienthal, and his new labelmate, saxophonist Kim Waters, guests on two more.

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