Jazz, November 2021

hfnalbum.pngKenny Garrett
Sounds From The Ancestors
Mack Avenue MAC1180; 2LPs: MAC1180LP

Kenny Garrett was the sax hero of Miles's last tour in 1991 but he's recorded more than a dozen innovative albums as leader since then. This time, he aimed to bring in sounds he remembered from growing up, from Coltrane to Aretha to Marvin Gaye, 'the spirit from my ancestors', and the album draws on hip-hop and even gospel as well as West African music. Garrett's core group is centred on long-time colleagues pianist Vernell Brown Jr, bassist Corcoran Holt and drummer Rudy Bruner. But among many guests is trumpeter Maurice Brown, who helps Garrett pay tribute to the late Roy Hargrove, pitting an intricate hard-bop line against a street beat. And Garrett succeeds in making everything work together. SH


Various Artists
Journeys In Modern Jazz: Britain (1965-1972)
Decca Records 5393589, 2 CDs; 2 LPs

This is a generous sampler for British Jazz Explosion: Originals Re-Cut, a series of re-mastered albums which starts with saxophonist Don Rendell's Space Walk, The New Jazz Orchestra's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe and the Quixote-themed Windmill Tilter by Kenny Wheeler with John Dankworth. Along with key pieces from those three, you get to hear the imaginative work of Mike Gibbs, Mike Westbrook, John Surman, Alan Skidmore, Dick Morrissey, Stan Tracey and others. As the 1960s gave way to the '70s, UK jazz like this was sidelined, almost forgotten. Here's a chance to catch up on an intriguing genre you might have missed. SH


Food For Thought
Ubuntu Music UBU0061, CD and LP

A feast of a follow-up to this all-star sextet's 2016 album Alimentation. 'We're all foodies', explains vocalist Brigitte Beraha, on behalf of saxophonist Tori Freestone, guitarist Jez Franks, pianist John Turville, bassist Dave Manington and drummer George Hart – they've worked together in various combinations over many years. They're off to a flying start with 'Hermetica', Freestone's exuberant tribute to Hermeto Pascoal, her soaring flute brilliantly intertwined with Beraha's wordless vocal, this sextet version even more exhilarating than the one on Freestone's Criss Cross duo album with pianist Alcyona Mick. A joyous collaboration from start to finish. SH


Fapy Lafertin New Quartet
Frémeaux & Associes FA8576

Born in 1950 into a musical manouche family, guitarist Fapy Lafertin has headed many gypsy swing groups over the decades. His New Quartet includes violinist Alexandre Tripodi and second guitarist Renaud Dardenne, both from Les Violons de Bruxelles, and bassist Cedric Raymond. They kick off with the nostalgic slow waltz 'Souvenir Of Toronto' and follow with a mix of gently swinging standards and tuneful originals, Lafertin switching to 12-string Portuguese guitar on some numbers. Unlike many other gypsy jazzers, Lafertin never uses his technique to out-Django Django with pyrotechnics. Instead, his good taste and feeling shine through in every track. SH