Customer Review

0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh Kenny, where did you go wrong ?, 12 Dec. 2003
This review is from: Standard Of Language (Audio CD)
A dissapointing album. Kenny Garrett is just trying too hard to be different in my view. A real let down after Happy People and past greats such as Black Hope.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Sep 2012 13:44:49 BDT
A review of Happy People to show why Pichel3000 doesn't know anything about jazz.

Altoist Garrett teams up with producer Marcus Miller...but is it jazz ?

John Eyles 2002-11-20

Ever since the 40's bebop revolution ousted big-band swing as the dominant sound of jazz, there has been a dynamic tension between jazz as art and jazz as entertainment. A jazz player's position in the spectrum from 'entertainment' to 'art' says a great deal about them, how they are viewed by critics and fans...probably quite a lot about their income too! All of this is pertinent here, because Kenny Garrett has always tended towards art, but this album sees him swing (lurch? veer? - choose your own verb) towards entertainment.

Significantly, the album was produced by Marcus Miller. Starting with his work with Miles Davis, Miller has long had a knack of producing homogenous albums with that dreaded factor, crossover appeal. Here, he has applied the treatment to Garrett and emasculated him in the process. Garrett effectively becomes a bit-part player on his own album, mainly reduced to playing themes and riffs.

The music here is not unpleasant, rather it is far too "pleasant"; all too easily it assumes the status of light (or should that be "lite"?) background music, however hard one tries to focus on it. Given the prevailing blandness, there is little point detailing individual tracks. Only on "Song #8", does Garrett cut loose and blow, but even then he is soon reined in and swamped by female backing vocals. Anyone who knows Garrett from his great Pursuance or Triology albums is likely to weep!

For a number of years there has been a running joke that Kenny Garrett should not be confused with smooth-jazz megastar Kenny G; it worked because there was never any danger of such confusion. After this album, that joke isnt funny anymore. This is jazz for people who don't like jazz.
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