Monday, April 20, 2015

Album Review: Matt Kane & the Kansas City Generations Sextet- Acknowledgement

Creating a compelling straight-ahead album in the style of the Jazz Messengers is difficult in 2015.  Yet Acknowledgement, the new release by Matt Kane and the Kansas City Generations Sextet, manages to infuse the inauspicious format with fresh energy.

The New York-based drummer has devised an essential document of Kansas City’s jazz scene.  Kane, saxophonists Steve Lambert and Michael Shults, trumpeter Hermon Mehari, pianist Andrew Ouellette and bassist Ben Leifer apply their formidable talents to the compositions of Ahmad Alaadeen, Pat Metheny and Bobby Watson.

The pairing of excellent musicians with the melodies that have come to define the Kansas City sound is consistently persuasive.

Kane deserves credit for allowing Shults and Lambert to shine.  Their contributions consistently elevate Acknowledgement.  The pair tear it up on Alaadeen’s “ASR."

The programming of Alaadeen’s “And the Beauty of It All” and Watson’s “Wheel Within a Wheel”- the familiar selections are album’s fifth and sixth tracks- is capable of acting as an emotional one-two punch on Kansas City's jazz advocates.

For anyone who has logged significant time at clubs including the Blue Room and the Green Lady Lounge in recent years, Acknowledgement sounds like home.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once you get past the tiresome and curmudgeonly reference to hard bop as an "inauspicious format," that wasn't a half bad review. Consider yourself chastised.