Alex D. (alex27782) wrote,
Alex D.

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So Kenny Garrett wasn't everything I'd hoped for, but it was still fun.

He started off with an "original" that sounded like it came straight from the Coltrane Quartet songbook. It was exciting and very good. The band was full of ideas and the interaction was strong. When that one finished, after about 20 minutes or so, they immediately jumped into another. It was basically another Coltrane tune, this one a bit more avant garde. It was absolutely stunning the way they played on it. The piano player took the first solo, and his McCoy Tyner styled playing was very impressive. After his solo, Kenny and the bassist each launched off on long solos of their own. Then they began trading with the drummer, which was a very exciting display of talent and musicality. Still, I was waiting to hear something that Coltrane couldn't have recorded 40 years ago.

The third tune featured the piano player on Fender Rhodes electric piano, and Kenny on soprano saxophone. It was a much more fusion-styled tune, which was a welcome change of pace. I think it may have actually been my favorite part of the concert, even though the piano player sounded better at the grand than at the Rhodes.

The third tune was where things started to take a turn for me. The drummer and bassist left the stage, and Kenny and the pianist dueted on a medley of Asian folk songs. They were very pretty and all, if a bit sappy in the piano accompaniments. However, the playing simply went on for too long. Late in the tune there were brief strokes of interest, but it mostly became bland as they sunk into repetitive playing, presumably to fill time.

The fourth tune again started pretty well. The drummer and bassist returned to the stage, and they played a funky tune. It was fun, but once again, only for a while. They stretched the tune out to well over 20 minutes for basically no reason, demanding that we clap and sing parts that the band had played a milion times already. They got a standing ovation from the audience maybe 15 minutes before the tune ended, because they kept stopping like they were finished and coming back in to play the exact same thing again. It was insanely irritating.

They came back out to play an encore. A pseudo-rap song in which Kenny demanded that the audience repeat the words "tick tock, don't stop" for an eternity. By then my patience had been tried, and I really didn't enjoy it at all.

The sound system for the whole concert was really hurting. Kenny's microphone was so distorted that you could not understand a word he said. The bass was not nearly loud enough, and there were times where the piano got lost, too. My father and I were discussing it, and he said that he thinks it would have been better without any sort of amplication whatsoever. I don't know about that, but I think they could have done without micing the drums. It's OK for a drummer to bash away like this guy did, as long as the other members of the band are appropriately loud in comparison.

A fun night with some drawbacks.
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