Kenny Shanker is reviewed by Take Effect with Beautiful Things

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Kenny Shanker Promo 1


by Tom Haugen


Beautiful Things

Wise Cat, 2021


Listen to Beautiful Things

Kenny Shanker Beautiful Things CD Cover

A saxophonist, pianist, vocalist and esteemed composer, Kenny Shanker brings Bill Mobley, Daisuke Abe, Mike Eckroth, Yoshi Waki and Brian Fishler to these diverse originals and standards that illuminate the bebop, classical and melodic jazz mood.

“Cool Mint” gets things off to a warm start, as crisp drumming and soulful sax guide the spirited original, and “Prestissimo” follows with a dizzying display of brass acrobatics, where Mobley’s strong trumpet prowess adds much to the busy climate.

In the middle, “L’ Impossible” brings radiant beauty to the piano friendly and stylish landscape, while “Orange And Gray” glides with a timeless jazz quality where the keys, drums, trumpet and guitars blend together with much melody and poise. “I’m Old Fashioned”, one of the best tunes present, then benefits much from Waki’s bass work as the setting turns reflective.

Close the end, “In Walked Bud” shuffles quickly with a playful free jazz spirit that you can’t help but admire, and the title track exits the listen with a classical influence as Shanker’s incredible sax skills take focus.

This is Shanker’s 4th album, and it continues his firm attention to detail that still allows for adventurous moments amid the universally enjoyable jazz sensibilities that certainly does the covers proud, and is full of top notch originals, too.

Travels well with: Billy Test Trio- Coming Down Roses; Max HighsteinTiptoes

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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