What would you expect from a guitarist that has toured the world for ten years with the legendary Ray Charles? Tasty, tasty, and bluesy might come to mind. New York based guitarist and composer, Kenny Carr, confirms that thought on his new CD recording, Friday at Five.
Friday at Five starts with a "New York Shuffle," set up by the sounds of Carr’s clean Stratocaster and rhythmic hits from keyboardist, John Dryden. The groove continues with Carr stating the melody in a relaxed manner with a smooth distorted tone. The guitar solo leaves no doubt that Carr has a rich heritage of blues in his playing, exemplified by tasty bends, double stops, and a heavy dose of the minor pentatonic scale. Carr also performs a nice organ solo on this track.
The feeling of T.G.I.F. continues with "Rays Riff," a twelve bar blues delivered in a swinging shuffle style with a be-bop influence in the melody, performed in unison by Carr, Donny McCaslin (tenor sax), and John Bailey (trumpet). Again, Carr delivers a blues laden solo. Carr clearly defines the underling harmony with his intelligent lines, resulting in an easy listen for both blues lovers and smooth jazz fans alike.
The well-produced CD continues to deliver a variety of feels and textures. From a James Brownish groove on "Exit 16" to the smooth jazz sounds of "Coast-to-Coast." Carr’s compositional style is enjoyable and highlights his playing as well as his band mates, all of which work well together to form a cohesive group sound that grooves and entertains.
Kenny Carr is an artist with much to offer the smooth jazz listener. Carr plays with emotion, technique, and taste thought-out the entire release. The compositions are intelligent, ordered in a way that gives a nice flow to any Friday night, and will certainly leave you feeling good.