Kenny Carr, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer; Donny McCaslin, saxophone; John Bailey, trumpet; John Dryden, keyboards; Andy Hess, bass; and Tony Mason, drums
Kenny Carr attended Berklee College of Music and toured as a guitarist with Ray Charles for over ten years. This CD was recorded in 1997 as a demo project with a group of Carr's Santa Cruz musical pals and just released.
The opener, "New York Shuffle," has an infectious groove laid down with Carr's tasty guitar styling. "Ray's Riff" is a bluesy brew with fluid Jazzy phrasing by the horn section. "Gramercy Groove" is an excursion in smooth Jazz that breezes along with improvised clarity.
The tune "Movin' On" has a straight-ahead touch rendered by Donny McCaslin's saxophone solo and slowly evolves into a contemplative guitar expression by Carr. The title cut "Friday at Five" is a shifting rhythmic smooth Jazz tune that swings with loose abandon.
"Coast to Coast" is a slow composition highlighting Carr's authoritative guitar playing embellished at the end by exquisite horn support. The tune "Exit 16" has a funky groove with rich percussive shots by the horn section.
Carr plays acoustic guitar on "Fly Away," a short virtuosic display of improvisation. The ending cut of "Santa Cruzin'" is a melancholy exercise by Carr on guitar that is highlighted by a splendid keyboard solo by Dryden.
This nine-track instrumental assemblage is a good representation of atmospheric smooth jazz performed with remarkable cohesiveness. Smooth Jazz enthusiasts will find this tasty effort rewarding listening.
by Dorothy L. Hill
Copyright Jazz Now, September 2005, all rights reserved.
Jazz Now Interactive September 2005 Vol 15 No. 5 - Table of Contents