Kenny Garret – Who Killed AI? (ENG review)

Mack Avenue – Street date April 12th 2024
Kenny Garret – Who Killed AI? (ENG review)

I presume it is unnecessary to introduce to you this illustrious saxophonist, for those who may not be familiar with the history of contemporary jazz. Kenny has shared the stage with Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, and many others, which quickly earned him his place of honor, with a unique phrasing and a contemporary vision of jazz that now navigates between electro-jazz and fusion. Although this album gives the impression of a group, it is actually a duo between Kenny Garrett – alto & soprano saxophones, vocals, and Svoy – programming, vocals, piano. A fascinating exploration that at times may recall certain works of Wayne Shorter or Miles Davis, which is quite natural considering this small world has mingled long enough for inspirations to seep through. The last artist to venture into an Electro-style duo was Bob James with the album ‘Jazz Hands’, which I discussed here.
Here, Kenny explores, dreams, and undoubtedly recalls certain rock albums he listened to long ago. This collaboration seems as natural as an extension of Kenny Garrett’s intellectual and musical journey, a matter of generation since the saxophonist comes from a generation that listens to others, listens to the world, and through electro sounds, Kenny also traces his path as an artist, as if he is taking us into his deep memories. Moreover, the way rhythms were handled in his previous albums helps us understand this album in which Svoy provides an electronic rhythm that often sets the pace for Kenny Garrett’s creation. It is almost certain that Kenny Garrett will not stop at electro music, as he is too accustomed to jumping from project to project, seeing things through to the end, and evidently on this project as well, Kenny has gone as far as he could. As someone who has listened to this saxophonist for a long time, I can affirm that this album will be significant for the same reason that others of his albums have marked jazz history, fully integrating into eras, listening to the sounds of the city. Electronic music should be considered in this sense, as purely urban art, Kenny Garrett’s particular talent is that no matter the terrain he ventures into, he never loses himself. This album is a blatant proof of that. While flirting with this musical genre, it’s quite easy to let oneself be overtaken and lose one’s identity. Kenny Garrett, on the contrary, plays with it, pushes the boundaries of creation in all directions, leaving enough space for Svoy to leave his mark on the album, in order to rebound and establish himself as an undisputed master.
This is how we recognize the great artists – Shorter, Zawinul, Miles – all had this power, and Kenny Garrett is one of their most beautiful heirs. In the new generation, Lakecia Benjamin is an artist who also possesses this talent. To sketch out universes, on a deep musical and intellectual quest, and to be capable of renewing oneself in this way is particularly remarkable. Clearly, Kenny Garrett is one of those geniuses who will continue to surprise us until the end of his life, leaving behind a body of work that will be studied in universities for a long time to come. That’s what happens when a work is meticulously crafted, thought out, and above all, remarkable.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, March 25th 2024


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