by Russell Trunk
Title – ‘Distance’
Artist – Kenny Carr
For those unaware, Kenny Carr is a classically trained guitar player/composer and owner of Zoozazz Music™ who lives in New York City.
Kenny performs his original jazz, blues, funk and fusion instrumental music with trio, quartet and other ensembles.
Indeed, Kenny has published nine albums recorded with NY, LA and other musicians to include Donny McCaslin, Kenny Wollesen, Hans Glawischnig, George Laks, Andy Hess, Tony Mason, Richie Morales, Lincoln Goines, Tom Baldwin, Frank Russo and Nashville drummer Brian Fullen.
Kenny began playing violin at age nine but by 11 realized his true passion was the guitar. Growing up in Santa Cruz, CA, with its inspiring natural beauty set the stage for Kenny’s musical career.
By his early teens, he was studying jazz theory with vibraphonist Rob Lautz, in addition to renowned trumpeter Ray Brown.
Kenny was surrounded by talented aspiring musicians who became close friends. By 16 he was performing at local venues where he met drummers Kenny Wollesen, Jeff Ballard, bassist Anders Swanson and saxophonist Donny McCaslin.
In 1981, Kenny and his fellow Santa Cruz musicians were invited to open for Carmen McRae and Freddie Hubbard at the Mount Tamalpais jazz festival, a catapult inspirationally and musically.
Carr attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. In his final year he got the call to audition for Ray Charles. “I remember running onto the stage (for what I thought was an audition) at a live concert as Mr. Charles told me to “play the blues!”.
Carr had the pleasure of touring worldwide with Charles for over 10 years and was lead guitar for the recordings Just Between Us and Live at Montreux.
Carr has enjoyed a fruitful career since Charles’ passing, performing in Maceo Parker’s Ray Charles tribute big band in addition to headlining NYC’s premier jazz clubs with his Quartet.
Carr’s discography of titles include: Friday at Five (2005), Turn the Page (2006), Changing Tide (2007), Idle Talk (2015), Exit Moon (2015), Departure (2018), Passages (2020), Hard Jazz (2020), and his just-released Distance (2021).
1. ‘Tune 77’ (4:46)
2. ‘Springs’ (5:04)
3. ‘S Curve’ (4:16)
4. ‘Distance’ (6:16)
5. ‘Funk Delux’ (8:18)
6. ‘Arrival’ (7:12)
7. ‘Until Then’ (6:38)
8. ‘Like Old Times’ (5:46)
9. ‘Primal Scream’ (7:08)
Up first is the tremendously funky ‘Tune 77’ and then the melodically free flowing ‘Springs,’ and they are followed seamlessly by the rockin’ foot tapper ‘Curve,’ the expertly prog-orchestrated title track ‘Distance,’ and then we get one of my own personal favorites, the near-nine minute, steadied gossamer bliss attack ‘Funk Delux.’
Next up is yet another stand out track in the form of the achingly extravagant rock opus ‘Arrival’ which is backed by the teasingly ornate, and yet always rock-infused ‘Until Then,’ with the album rounding out on the Gary Moore-imbibed blues of ‘Like Old Times,’ closing on the funky guitar and drum machinations of ‘Primal Scream.’