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Kenny Garrett: Pushing the World Away

The paradox invoked by the title of saxophonist Kenny Garrett’s latest is that of a man seeking to escape the chaos of daily life in order to live in the moment, “pushing the world away” so he may see it, immerse himself in it and celebrate it as fully as possible.

“J’ouvert (Homage to Sonny Rollins)” is Garrett’s tribute to “St. Thomas,” but even as he skips lightly through the complex Latin rhythmic textures laid down by drummer Marcus Baylor and percussionist Rudy Bird, the revelry is tempered by a sense of reflection-melodic descents, smooth-edged legato-befitting a tribute to a venerated elder. The ballad “Brother Brown,” which salutes Garrett’s co-producer Donald Brown, gives us a rare glimpse of Garrett’s piano style, both deeply melodic and eloquently sparse. The accompanying string trio adds depth and resonance rather than bathos.

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