Sounds From The Ancestors
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Kenny Garrett

Sounds From The Ancestors

Composer/saxophonist Kenny Garrett emerged as a distinctive voice on the national scene in 1978 with an undisputed aptitude for emotive melodic phrasing that led him to collaborations with Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey and Miles Davis. With Sounds from the Ancestors, Garrett remembers the spirit of the sounds of African ancestors from church services, recited prayers, songs from the work fields, Yoruban chants and African drums, alongside tributes to Roy Hargrove and two drum pioneers — Art Blakey and Tony Allen — who all looked into the past to influence the future sound and evolution of jazz.

Kenny Garrett’s latest release, Sounds from the Ancestors, is a multi-faceted album. The music, however, doesn’t lodge inside the tight confines of the jazz idiom, which is not surprising considering the alto saxophonist and composer acknowledges the likes of Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye as significant touchstones. Similar to how Miles Davis’ seminal LP, On the Corner, subverted its main guiding lights – James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone – then crafted its own unique, polyrhythmic, groove-laden, improv-heavy universe, Sounds from the Ancestors occupies its own space with intellectual clarity, sonic ingenuity and emotional heft.

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