Kenny Garrett - Pushing the World Away (Mack Avenue, 2013)
Alto and soprano saxophonist Kenny Garrett leads a wide ranging cast of characters on his new album. He strategically deploys his musicians, strategically shifting them in and out like a cagey football coach as the music veers from deep jazz to lighter fare with a touch of soul. "A Side Order of Hijiki" open the album nicely, playing to his strength which is burning modern jazz with a strong and pungent tone. A tribute to Chick Corea, with whom he toured with in the Five Peace Band, "Hey, Chick" develops slowly, but builds to a deep and thoughtful performance. Garrett adds a nice Afro-Latin feel to "Chucho's Mambo" as well as a bright, swinging calypso tone to the Sonny Rollins tribute "J'ouvert". The title track, "Pushing the World Away" is quite interesting as well. It reveals it's mysteries slowly, with Garrett moving through peaks and valleys of sound. There is some unusual sounding chanting or vocalization that adds a spiritual tinge to the proceedings, recalling the Pharoah Sanders Impulse albums of the early 1970's. Sanders has guested on Garrett's records on the past, so this isn't much of a stretch. Although he doesn't use the overblowing Sanders is known for, the music builds it's own brooding intensity. This is a long album, but you get the sense that Garrett needs the time to demonstrate all the facets of his musical interests. For the most part it works well and shows the depth and breadth of his musical vision. Pushing the World Away - amazon.com.