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 News Jazz 04/07/2008

Mack Avenue Records Announces The Signing Of Saxophonist-Composer Kenny Garrett

NEW YORK (Top40 Charts/ Mack Avenue Records) - Mack Avenue Records announces the signing of saxophone sensation and Detroit native Kenny Garrett, the highly renowned composer and multiple GRAMMY-nominee, to their unique roster of artists.
Garrett will release on September 23 Sketches of MD, a capricious excursion into open-ended melodies over grooves that reflect the artistry of key sidemen from Miles Davis' many groups - from John Coltrane to Kenny himself. Consisting of five compositions, Sketches of MD is a relaxed yet live record of some music Kenny performed at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City with his band (Benito Gonzales on piano, Nat Reeves on bass, and Jamire Williams on drums) and special guest, tenor saxophone legend Pharoah Sanders.

Kenny Garrett chose Detroit-based Mack Avenue as the home for his live project for a couple of reasons. "I see Mack Avenue as an independent label with big ideas. They're making noise in my hometown, so I wanted to be a part of it. I didn't want a company that can't do something because all they know is the 'normal' way. I wanted fresh marketing - something beyond my core."

President of Mack Avenue Records, Denny Stilwell, adds, "We are excited to welcome Kenny Garrett into the Mack Avenue family as we continue to expand our roster of artists with proven longevity and unique musical vision."

"Kenny Garrett's prominence as a leading voice of his generation stems not only from his exceptional skill as a player, but from his respect and love of jazz from its earliest traditions to its most contemporary aspects of performance," states Mack Avenue Records Executive VP of A&R, Al Pryor.

Breaking down Sketches of MD, Garrett continues, "I wanted to document the band I took on the road for Beyond the Wall while we were working with Pharoah and also write some new songs. The idea of doing the Miles-related songs just evolved." The result, captured before a captive audience in New York City, is a soul-stirring energy exchange. "That's because this music was as new to the audience as it was to the band," Garrett explains.

Kenny Garrett began his career in 1978 when he joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra, then led by Duke's son, Mercer Ellington. Three years later, he played in the Mel Lewis Orchestra (playing the music of Thad Jones) and also the Dannie Richmond Quartet (focusing on Charles Mingus's music). In 1984, he recorded his first album as a bandleader, Introducing Kenny Garrett.
Since then, he has released a total of 14 albums as a leader, and has had numerous GRAMMY nominations. In addition to Sanders, Garrett has performed and recorded with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, McCoy Tyner, Brian Blade, Marcus Miller, Roy Haynes, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Ron Carter, Elvin Jones and Mulgrew Miller.

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