Kenny Garret has signed with Mack Avenue Records for his September 23 release of "Sketches of MD", an excursion into open-ended melodies over grooves that reflect the artistry of key sidemen from Miles Davis' many groups - from John Coltrane to Kenny himself. Consisting of five compositions, Sketches of MD is a relaxed yet live record of some music Kenny performed at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City with his band (Benito Gonzales on piano, Nat Reeves on bass, and Jamire Williams on drums) and special guest, tenor saxophone legend Pharoah Sanders. Kenny Garrett chose Detroit-based Mack Avenue as the home for his live project for a couple of reasons. "I see Mack Avenue as an independent label with big ideas.
Breaking down "Sketches of MD", Garrett continues, "I wanted to document the band I took on the road for Beyond the Wall while we were working with Pharoah and also write some new songs. The idea of doing the Miles-related songs just evolved." The result, captured before a captive audience in New York City, is a soul-stirring energy exchange. "That's because this music was as new to the audience as it was to the band," Garrett explains.
Kenny Garrett began his career in 1978 when he joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra, then led by Duke's son, Mercer Ellington. Three years later, he played in the Mel Lewis Orchestra (playing the music of Thad Jones) and also the Dannie Richmond Quartet (focusing on Charles Mingus's music). In 1984, he recorded his first album as a bandleader, Introducing Kenny Garrett. Since then, he has released a total of 14 albums as a leader, and has had numerous GRAMMY nominations. In addition to Sanders, Garrett has performed and recorded with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, McCoy Tyner, Brian Blade, Marcus Miller, Roy Haynes, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Ron Carter, Elvin Jones and Mulgrew Miller.