by Paul Wilson
Award winning composer, saxophonist, pianist, and vocalist Kenny Shanker has released his latest work of traditional jazz, both original songs and covers of jazz standards. In addition to his own music, he has worked with several prominent groups and artists such as The New World Symphony, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and one of my all-time favorites, David Benoit. In addition to performing at some of New York’s most celebrated jazz clubs, he has even performed at Carnegie Hall. Several of the tracks, such as Track 2, “Prestissimo” is high octane, free form sax that almost sounds totally improvised. Other tracks are cool jazz all the way and I really enjoyed how Shanker weaves the sax and trumpet together so fluidly. Between the bebop sound on several songs to the flowing luxury of a more traditional jazz sound, “Beautiful Things” is exactly that – beautiful.