Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kenny Garrett—Grammy winner, winner of Germany’s prestigious Echo Award, nominee for the NAACP Image Award, member of DownBeat’s Hall of Fame, and an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Berklee College of Music are just a few of the accolades that have been bestowed on him. Garrett’s last CD paid homage to those who inspired him, and although the primary focus of his new disc, “Pushing the World Away,” is not on his tutelage of young musicians, the number of those who participated in this recording emphasize his mentorship. Escaping from the noise and distractions of daily life provided the creative environment for his work on this project, an exercise that could benefit us all in an attempt to obtain a clearer view of the world.

American saxophonist Scott Hamilton has teamed up with the Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren and his trio for “Swedish Ballads… & More,” choosing a repertoire of seven tunes associated with Sweden. Two of those are interpretations of jazz standards with the remainder written by Swedish composers. Hamilton’s love affair with the country has been ongoing since his first visit more than 30 years ago. He has many friends and fans in Sweden who have followed him closely over the years.

Also this week, flutist Ali Ryerson has put together a Jazz Flute Big Band for “Game Changer,” featuring guest flutists Hubert Laws, Nestor Torres and Holly Hofmann along with arrangements by Bill Cunliffe, Michael Abene, Mike Wofford and others; pianist Miles Black and his trio are joined by saxophonist Grant Stewart “Live at Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club”; and singer Kathy Kosins offers up her latest, “The Space Between,” featuring pianist Tamir Hendelman, bassist Robert Hurst and Eric Harland on percussion.

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