Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Kenny Garrett Finishes New Album, Plans Tour

Happy People, which will be released March 12, is the first CD by alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett (shown sitting) since 1999’s Simply Said. Here he is shown at Avatar Studios making some last minute adjustments to the album with (l to r) Ross Peterson (assistant engineer) and Kirk Imamura (Avatar Studio president).

Happy People was produced by bassist Marcus Miller and recorded and mixed by Bill Schnee at Oceanway Studios. Special guest vibist Bobby Hutcherson, trumpeter/flugelhornist Michael “Patches” Stewart, vocalist Jean Norris, guitarist Randy Razz, drummer Marcus Baylor and Miller (on electric bass) occasionally join the core of Garrett’s band-pianist Vernell Brown, drummer Chris Dave and acoustic bassist Charnett Moffett.

The CD’s 11 tracks cover all the ground that Garrett is known for, from straightahead burning to contemporary jazz-funk. Like his last two CDs, 1997’s Songbook and Simply Said, Garrett’s writing carries the album: the saxophonist composed 10 of the 11 cuts; “Asian Medley” is a combo of Far Eastern tunes arranged by Garrett.

While fans will have to wait a few months before Happy People hits the shops, they can catch Garrett at one of his many gigs around the U.S.A.:

1/18		Boulder, CO	Boulder Theater  

1/19 Seattle, WA Sky Church @ Exp. Music Project
1/22-1/27 Oakland, CA Yoshi's
2/16 Mashantucket, CT B.B. King's Dance & Nite Club
3/09 Duluth, MN Head Of The Lakes Jazz Festival
3/15-3/16 Washington, DC Blues Alley
3/19-3/24 Chicago, IL Jazz Showcase
3/25 Kansas City, MO Blue Room
4/11-4/14 Oakland, CA Yoshi's
4/15 Santa Cruz, CA Kuumbwa Jazz Center
4/18 Hanover, NH Hopkins Center
4/19 Hanover, NH Spaulding Auditorium
4/20 Burlington, VT Flynn Theatre
4/24-4/25 Boston, MA Sculler's
4/26 Greeley, CO Jazz Festival
4/30-5/5 New York, NY Iridium Jazz Club

Originally Published