This album recorded live at the iridium in New York offers the best and worst of Kenny garrett.I arrived at the overall 3 star marking as follows -
1) The Ring - An intense spiritual piece based around a simple repeating theme with both Garrett and special guest Pharoah Sanders blowing fierce solos comprising of short intense bursts of sound.Quality stuff. ***** rating.
2) Intro to Africa - a more deeply spiritual piece than track one with Sanders blowing a less intense,more thoughtful and lyrical solo than on the previous piece.**** rating.
3) Sketches of MD - Pointless ode to the great Miles Davis with a repetitive groove that really leads nowhere with the soloists just noodling with distorted horn/synth sounds without any real structure.
4) Wayne's thang - Is a lively almost hip hoppish piece with smooth synth sounds and echoey sax solos with the great Pharoah Sanders getting down and dirty with a real honking sqeaking solo.Worth hearing for Pharoah's solo alone.
5) Happy people - Although it has a nice melody anybody who has seen Garrett live knows that this one can go on forever with chorus after chorus after chorus (just as it does here)and can get pretty annoying in the end.rating **.
There you have it - the best and worst of kenny Garrett all on one cd.After a few plays this one had me reaching for a quality Garrett album such as "Beyond the wall" or "songbook". Garrett is really at his best when he gets down to some serious blowing.An album with everything from Spirituals to hip hop and funk takes an open minded listener to enjoy it and in my opinion is just too varied for a single session.