Posts Tagged ‘ Kenny Carr ’

Kenny Carr – Distance

Kenny Carr CD CoverDistance is Kenny Carr’s ninth album. Continuing his propensity for funk-based jazz and explorative melodic melodies, Carr has once again put together a listenable yet gritty album that goes the distance. The name Distance came from the fact that 6 of the songs on the album were written over 25 years ago, with lots of youthful exuberance. Kenny Carr is a classically trained guitar player/composer and owner of Zoozazz Music™ who lives in New York City. Kenny performs his original jazz, blues, funk, and fusion instrumental music with a trio, quartet, and other ensembles. Kenny has published nine albums recorded with NY, LA, and other musicians, including Donny McCaslin, Kenny Wollesen, Hans Glawischnig, George Laks, Andy Hess, Tony Mason, Richie Morales, Lincoln Goines, Tom Baldwin, Frank Russo, and Nashville drummer Brian Fullen.

Kenny began playing violin at age nine but by 11 realized his true passion was the guitar. Growing up in Santa Cruz, CA, with its inspiring natural beauty set the stage for Kenny’s musical career. By his early teens, he was studying jazz theory with vibraphonist Rob Lautz and renowned trumpeter Ray Brown.

Kenny was surrounded by talented aspiring musicians who became close friends. By 16, he was performing at local venues where he met drummers Kenny Wollesen, Jeff Ballard, bassist Anders Swanson, and saxophonist Donny McCaslin. In 1981, Kenny and his fellow Santa Cruz musicians were invited to open for Carmen McRae and Freddie Hubbard at the Mount Tamalpais jazz festival, a catapult inspirationally and musically. Continue reading

Kenny Carr – Hard Jazz

Guitarist Kenny Carr had the pleasure of touring worldwide with Ray Charles for over 10 years. He was lead guitar for the recordings Just Between Us and Live at Montreux. Since Charles’ passing, Carr performed in Maceo Parker’s Ray Charles tribute big band in addition to headlining NYC’s premier jazz clubs with his Quartet. Carr’s discography of titles including: Friday at Five (2005), Turn the Page (2006), Changing Tide (2007), Idle Talk (2015), Exit Moon (2015), Departure (2018), and Passages (2020).

His new album is Hard Jazz (June 2020), Carr’s eighth album. He takes listeners down a different path to explore his other love of music aside from blues and jazz…rock and roll. In this collection of 10 original tunes backed by acclaimed drummer Richie Morales and guest players, Carr revives a number of compositions drafted across his 40 years of playing and writing. “It was an itch I needed to scratch,” says Carr of his motivation to turn to rock after focusing on jazz and blues. “Richie and I had so much fun jamming one day, I wanted to see where it took us. The genres are cousins after all, and a lot of my past albums have a blend of jazz, blues and some rock elements. I did something similar with Exit Moon a few years ago.”

Indeed, Carr’s jazz has often leaned toward the melodic and bluesy, an influence of Ray Charles, yet Hard Jazz doesn’t abandon jazz completely, with improvised solos and fundamental jazz structures. Carr notes that many of the tunes were written years ago but had been buried, “A couple of the pieces date back to my teens, and I was definitely wearing my heart on my sleeve on a few others” Richie and I recorded these pieces just prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but I decided to release the album now, much earlier than planned, because the pandemic made it feel more relevant. Everyone is grieving and going through different shocks right now, but also celebrating heroes and recoveries. I felt all of that in these tunes.”
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