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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

Just thought I'd start a discussion focused around the great Kenny Garrett's influences. I've tried to research this myself on the net with little success and was wondering if any of you knew?

Cheers,
Michael.
 

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As in who influenced him? Largely Coltrane and Grover Washington Jr. as far as I know. I can also hear a lot of Cannonball and Parker in much of his phrasing. I'm sure he's got many many more influences including pop and RnB musicians.
 

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Some might find it crazy but I hear Maceo Parker, particularly sound and believe it or not phrasing. Harmonically I would say Henderson looms large.
 

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He's said in interviews that he was influenced by trumpet players as much as saxophone players, especially Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, and Marcus Belgrave. Definitely hear a lot of Freddie and Woody in his harmonic concept but nor really familiar with Marcus Belgrave....I think he was a Detroit guy when KG was coming up there.
 

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All I know is the dude can play! I saw him late last year locally at my Alma Mater and his set was as much about bebop and it was about gospel and pop. He truly is one of the greats of our time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cheers Guys! Thanks for all the responses.
 

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I heard an old recording of Coltrane playing alto on a tune on public radio quite a few years back and mistakenly thought it was Kenny for the first couple minutes of the tune. It really amazed me how similar the phrasing, tone, vibrato, and overall harmonic style was. Wish I knew what the hell I was listening to as far as ensemble or recording. I know he did some big band stuff on alto early on but I don't think he did much combo work on it, although I could easily be mistaken. Wouldn't be the first time, just ask my wife.
 

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I don't hear any brecker in his alto sound. I think any similarities mostly comes from the Trane influence, at least this is what I hear.

re: Marcus Belgrave. He is a big influence in the Bebop stylings of ANYONE who came is from the Metro Detroit area (I'm from the area, originally). He's a musician's musician, and most trumpet players in the know are familiar with him. Still, it's true he's not a "household name". He would be a trumpet equivalent of Chicago's Von Freeman.

Kenny aslo played in Woody Shaw's band for some time, and if you hear him on those records, you can hear the growing influence of Woody's style on a young Kenny Garrett. You also hear Kenny sounding like Kenny...his style is distinctly his, even if he's playing more bebop-type lines.
 

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If you listen to his album '' Triology'' you can hear a strong Sonny Rollins influence that doesn't come out as much on other albums. Must be the chordless trio setting that brings it out.
 

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Interesting, I'm jamming out to Cannonball Adderley's Inside Straight and some of his more angular lines in this period have a lot of the same flavor that you hear in Kenny Garrett's playing. And the amount of elasticity with his attack and pitch in that later period...

Need to break out some Kenny Garrett, what an personal sound!!!
 

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I'll go along with the Joe Henderson observation - I was just listening to his album Black Hope, where Henderson is a guest on a couple tunes, and it's pretty obvious where he draws his inspiration from. There's a lot of Jackie MacLean and yes, Maceo, in his sound (whether by design or coicidence).
 

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If you listen to his album '' Triology'' you can hear a strong Sonny Rollins influence that doesn't come out as much on other albums. Must be the chordless trio setting that brings it out.

I love that album. The interaction between KG and Brian Blade on that one is spellbinding.
 

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I saw Kenny Garrett's Trilogy group 3 times in one week @ the old Yoshi's Nite Spot. The infamous Dr. Dave sent me DAT bootlegs from 2nd sets. They burned in down. Soo Sick!! I'm going to suggest that he was influence by John Coltrane and Sonny. Not that much of a stretch... who isn't?? We all are.

Didn't remember KG was from Detroit. But Marcus Belgrave had to have the same huge impact... we have all ben influenced by him too... just don't realize it. I played with a cornet/flugel horn player in the Army Band who studied with Maestro Belgrave as a kid. He was my Platoon Sergeant, so I heard so many stories about him on long bus trips. Sgt. told me about the "Blues Sexes", a way to resolve lines through the circle. We wrote pages and pages of them out and played them round and round. When I look at those notebooks, it's clear how much of my harmonic conception came from Marcus Belgrave.

So, if there is Marcus Belgrave influence in Kenny's playing... it's not a stretch to say that there is Motown Studios, Ray Charles, Clifford Brown all wrapped up in there too.

Oh yeah, then there was that guy Miles. I saw Miles @ Stanford right before he passed, the first time I ever heard or saw Kenny Garrett. Only time I ever saw Miles smile after a sax solo!!!

For students of the Music, any investigation into Marcus Belgrave would be fruitful. A most worthy influence.
 
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