Advertisement

ALBUM REVIEWS : *** 1/2 KENNY GARRETT : “African Exchange Student” : <i> Atlantic</i>

Here you have modern acoustic, sans-frills stuff worthy of repeated airings. Alto saxophonist Garrett plays with ideas and feeling, standing tall in a variety of contexts. On the title track, a slow, simmering groover, he cooks over steam heat provided by the crackling rhythm-plus-percussion accompaniment. On “Ja-Hed,” a full-throttle spin through a “So What"-like modal landscape that’s goosed by drummer Tony Reedus, the leader is a musical Emerson Fittipaldi, surging and swerving without a fender nick. Also included: Coltrane’s “Straight Street,” Herbie Hancock’s “One Finger Snap” and the leader’s “Shaw,” a sweet-to-the-ear waltz that’s booted with elan by drum ace Elvin Jones.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five stars (a classic).


Advertisement