Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Kenny Garrett
Beyond the Wall

Alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett's latest release “Beyond the Wall” started out strong, but after the first two tunes “Calling” and the title cut, the album veers off course. “Calling” is a powerhouse blowing session between Garrett and tenor saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders. Sanders tenor work remains sturdy and edgy after decades of playing. Sanders plays on seven of the nine tracks. He takes each song on an improvisational joyride.

The other tracks on this album seem out of place. I felt as if I was listening to two separate albums. “Realization” samples a Tibetan hymn that gives the tune a mystic and eerie vibe. The next number “Tsunami Song” is downright melancholic.
On these selections Garrett was attempting to get the same effects that trumpeter Donald Byrd achieved on his album “A New Perspective”.
On “May Peace Be Upon Them” Garrett yells and screams on his horn like he’s engaged is a meaningless debate at a neighborhood barbershop. This album is on a journey with no specific destination in sight.
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