I first heard Kenny Carr with his 2015 release of Idle Talk. With the next four albums—Exit Moon, Departure, Passages, and Hard Jazz—Kenny has proven again and again his mastery of Jazz guitar and his compositional brilliance.
Now, with his album Distance, Kenny takes on the trio format with Richie Morales on drums and Lincoln Goines on bass. Along with his inimitable guitar, Kenny takes on the keyboards giving him a singular spotlight that he fills with energy and passion.
The title Distance refers to the fact that six of the nine songs were written over 25 years ago. What may have been written with a young man’s fire and ambition has come to us as music that balances fire with finesse, guts with grace and, in the end, is a remarkable tribute to Kenny’s voice and vision.
The composing and delivery show the funk and the fire with the lead-off track Tube 77, then again with Funk Delux, and concluding the Primal Scream. All along the way, Morales and Goines prove themselves to be fitting partners for what Kenny has planned throughout the album.
Then to the lush and emotional, Kenny offers up Springs and the title track, Distance. From the lovely to the gritty, Kenny unleashes S Curve and Arrival before the Bluesy number Like Old Times. Until Then is a visionary piece of singular reflection and anticipation.
Richie Morales is well worth a second listen as he moves from the furious to the languid, never failing to rightly interpret and enhance the melodies. Lincoln Goines bring excellent support with the bass, whether the funkier lines and the more solid and traditional approaches.
The entire Distance album is a reassertion and an ongoing revelation of just how good Kenny Carr is—both as musician and as composer. What he writes is as impressive as how he plays it. Despite the age of those six songs, Distance is the next evolutionary step for Kenny Carr and he never disappoints.
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