15. Kenny Garrett Sounds from the Ancestors
The title invokes tribal chants, primal rhythms, and bare-bones instrumentation. Contrarily, the distinguished alto saxophonist links West African jùjú and Yoruban music to his hometown Detroit’s legacy. He smartly incorporates (and transcends) driving backbeats through homage “Hargrove,” for his trumpeter colleague, and “For Art’s Sake,” honoring drummers Art Blakey and Tony Allen. The title track channels Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, and Randy Weston while mixing Dwight Trible’s chants and Pedrito Martinez’s Yoruban singing.
CHRIS J. WALKER