by Susan Frances
Album Review: Departure from Kenny Carr
Artist: Kenny Carr
Label: ZOOZAZZ MUSIC
A student of bebop, guitarist Kenny Carr has fully immersed himself in the creative expression of jazz on his sixth studio recording Departure. With all compositions written by Carr, the tracks are showered in influences of Latin-imbued shimmies and fusion-laced grooves crisscrossed by smooth jazz quills. Joined by Donny McCaslin on saxophone, Kenny Wollesen on drums and percussion, and Hans Glawischnig on bass, Carr displays a snug rapport with his teammates that resounds a harmonious flux.
The capricious squiggles of McCaslin’s saxophone driving “D&P” are supported by a dance-funk groove in Glawischnig’s bass line and Wollesen’s thumping drumbeats, producing spontaneous figures spurred on by creative impulses. The power-pop vibrations of Carr’s guitar riffs lapping across “Evolutions” switch the direction of the recording to Glenn Frye-esque squalls. The title track lowers the velocity of Carr’s guitar to a balladry drift as the tempo of the track comes to a lulling calm, infusing the tune with a creamy lather.
The Latin-inspired sway of the rhythm section through “Waiting” is swathe in the bebop-stylizing of Carr’s doodling on guitar and the mercurial scrolling of McCaslin’s saxophone notes, inscribing the track with dynamic fluctuations. The exotic intonations of McCaslin’s saxophone swirl and soar through “Beer Call” with a magnetic nimbleness. Each musician performs aurally pleasing acrobatics that activate the listener’s imagination.
The instrumentals are the physical expression of Carr’s intangible characteristics, tapping into thoughts, stories, emotions, and impulses, and interpreting them into music. Drawing influences from a wide spectrum of musical expressions, Carr hones his chops as a prodigious guitarist and a broad-reaching composer on Departure.
Kenny Carr – Guitars, Synthesizers
Donny McCaslin – Saxophone
Kenny Wollesen – Drums, Percussion
Hans Glawischnig – Bass