Though it was recorded live at New York's jazz emporium, Iridium, Detroit born saxophonist Kenny Garrett makes a return home of sorts with Sketches of MD, his debut on the Motor City's own Mack Avenue Records. His quartet here, with bassist Nat Reeves, pianist/organist Benito Gonzalez, and drummer Jamire Williams, may not possess the star power of some of his studio albums, but this band is more than up for the gig. In addition, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders reprises his role from Beyond the Wall from 2006 as Garrett's foil, creating sparks aplenty.
Songwriter, band leader, and background vocalist Larry Cordle invited several of his famous friends to join him on the album, appropriately titled All-Star Duets, with songs Larry wrote for them. Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Terri Clark, Kevin Denny, Diamond Rio, Alison Krauss, Kathy Mattea, Daryle Singletary, Travis Tritt, Del McCoury, Rick Skaggs and Trisha Yearwood all make appearances on the project.
This one-disc run through Underworld's 20-year career serves a purpose, yet newcomers should know this prime techno act already has a couple of necessary albums (Dubnobasswithmyheadman and Second Toughest in the Infants), plus there's a companion release to this set (1992-2012) that features the "real" full-length versions of most of these cuts, although you do have to shell out for a second disc. On top of this all, folks intrigued by Underworld generally fall in love with them, so this gateway drug will likely become redundant.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Trumpeter Steve Gut's on the frontline here alongside the legendary Clark Terry and the great Dusko Goykovich – and the younger musician really manages to hold his own, and work well with the two master trumpeters! The setting is a larger group – the RTB Big Band – and all three players get a chance to solo – and the mighty Alvin Queen is in the group on drums, providing a soulful kick that maybe makes the album sparkle a bit more than usual for the RTB – although they've always had a great legacy of work with bigger name players, especially American ones. Titles include "Mr CT", "Black Triangle", "Stemi", "Summer Afternoon", "On The Road", "Some Memories", and "Blues To Clark".
Here Lucky goes to Memphis. Several years into a solo career, the former blues whiz kid plays good keyboards and guitar, and sings stirringly on originals and covers from all over the black music map (Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Les McCann & Eddie Harris, blues piano master Roosevelt Sykes, etc.) His modern soul-cum-blues is hot, sweaty, and aggressive, and he gets the job done in busy arrangements shared with the Memphis Horns, honey-throated back-up singers, and muscular hired guns like bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Crusher Green. Peterson had the good sense to collaborate with New Yorker Jim Payne when writing five songs for the album, including the killer slow blues instrumental that doubles as the album title.