This was a solo show from Derek, who was still feeling the glow from the mesmerising intensity and inspirational playing of the Kenny Garrett Quartet at the Pizza Express Jazz Club on Saturday 24 March. From the first moment the tough, driving force of drummer McClenty Hunter Jr. and Kenny Garrett’s mighty and seemimgly never-ending blowing on alto set the tone for an unforgettable performance. As the set went on, pianist Vernell Brown Jr. took some of the limelight and Corcoran Hall on bass was solid throughout. A near two and a half hour set of emotionally charged music was such a pleasant contrast to my last ‘jazz’ outing to see the Portico Quartet, who played for barely one and a quarter hours, and for me proved that repetitive beats from programmed drumming is no more interesting than any other repetitive noise – even though members of the audience seemingly aged aged from 17 to 70 nodded their heads intently.
There had to be selections from Kenny Garrett’s new CD Seeds from the Underground. If there has ever been a better start to Cosmic Jazz than Welcome Earth Song I cannot remember it and Wiggins (dedicated to Garrett’s high school band leader) was a highlight of his live performance. The record as a whole is highly recommended.
There was a track from the Robert Glasper Experiment CD Black Radio but don’t listen to this expecting to hear a jazz record. There is jazz here, but there is also soul, R’n’B and hip hop. As the group name suggests, this is an experiment.
The Robert Glasper Experiment is appearing at the Norwich Playhouse on Sunday 13 May at 8pm. Tickets are £17, as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. For tickets call 01603 766400 or book online at: www.nnfestival.org.uk The other jazz highlights at the Festival include the Nigel Kennedy Quintet on Tuesday 22 May; Zara McFarlane (whose first album Until Tomorrow has been much played on Cosmic Jazz) on Friday 25 May; and Jerry Dammers’ highly recommended Spatial AKA Orkestra on Saturday 26 May. The Festival also has a varied programme of classical music, theatre, circus and dance, words, ideas and images, visual arts and activities for families. Check the website above for details.
- Kenny Garrett – Welcome Earth Song
- Robert Glasper Experiment (feat Ledisi) – Gonna Be Alright
- Jack de Johnette – Salsa for Lusito
- Jack de Johnette – Third World Anthem
- SOTU – Lucky Novak
- Max Roach – Driva’Man
- Frank Morgan – Wholey Earth
- Patrice Rushen – Shout it Out
- Dwight Trible – Algeriangles
- Trio Libero – Slip Duty
- Kenny Garrett – Wiggins
- Kenny Clarke – Big Bang
- David Sanchez – No Quiero Pedras En Mi Camino