Kenny Garrett’s latest album Pushing the World Away has been confirmed for a 2 September release in the UK more than a fortnight ahead of the US release. It’s the 52-year-old alto great’s third album for the label that's based in his beloved Detroit, and follows last year’s acclaimed Seeds From The Underground and similarly full of a joie de vivre only those who have seen the ex-Miles Davis man live will appreciate. "Push away" in the title apparently is about getting rid of distractions. Opener ‘A Side Order of Hijiki,’ references a word that the late Mulgrew Miller used to describe Garrett's playing style. “He would say, ‘I hear you playing that hijiki’," Garrett says in a pre-release statement. Other tunes on the album include one inspired by a trip to Guadeloupe, and indirectly 'J'ouvert' becomes a tribute to Sonny Rollins. ‘Hey, Chick’ references Chick Corea, who Garrett played with in the now legendary Five Peace band and encompasses a Spanish and Moroccan vibe; while 'Chucho's Mambo' (Chucho as in Cuban piano great Chucho Valdés) is more salsa. Garrett is joined by a cast of players who include road warriors Vernell Brown, Benito Gonzalez, McClenty Hunter, and Corcoran Holt. The title track ‘Pushing the World Away’, features pianist Vernell Brown "chant as a Buddhist", and Garrett "chanting as a Christian". All the tunes are by Garrett apart from the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song ‘I Say a Little Prayer’, its inclusion owing its origins to good reaction when Garrett and his live band played the song at soundchecks. Garrett is back in the UK for club dates at Ronnie Scott’s in London on 10 and 11 October switching from recent appearances at the smaller Pizza Express Jazz Club nearby in Soho.
Kenny Garrett above photo: Keith Major