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September 6th, 2021

Kenny Garrett – Sounds from the Ancestors (Mack Ave)

Kenny Garrett’s latest, Sounds from the Ancestors, is an all-original program with a hot young band inspiring him to make some of his best music in a good long while. Garrett’s alto (and electric piano on four tracks) is joined by Vernell Brown, Jr’s piano, Corcoran Holt’s bass and the drums of Ronald Bruner. There are also some notable guest artists here, including Chicagoan Maurice Brown. Garrett’s tribute to trumpeter Roy Hargrove (“Hargrove”) might be the strongest song here, but “It’s Time To Come Home” is great as well, and “When the Days Were Different” finds Garrett in a more contemporary mode, where he sounds fantastic.

Bruce Harris – Soundview (Cellar Live)

Professor, trumpeter and member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Bruce Harris, has just released his second album as a leader, Soundview. He’s joined by the fantastic pianist Sullivan Fortner, bassist David Wong and drummer Aaron Kimmell. They run through a nice mix of Jazz classics, standards and Harris’ originals, and all in all, it’s a really nice listen. My highlights include Harris’ “Maybe It’s Hazy,” and Hank Mobley’s “Hank’s Prank.”

Samara Joy – Samara Joy (Whirlwind Recordings)

The self-titled release from vocalist Samara Joy is her debut album. Joined by a nice trio of Pasquale Grasso on guitar, Ari Roland on bass and Kenny Washington on drums, they run through a set of twelve standards, and they sound great. But what makes this album a must catch is the approach to the songs. When was the last time you heard “Everything Happens To Me” as an up-tempo swinger? Or the verse on “Stardust?” Samara Joy the singer has definitely put in the effort to make Samara Joy the album a, well, joy to listen to.


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