A Place Across Town
Kenny Pore Sessions
Smooth Jazz, Light Jazz, Dinner Jazz…it goes by many names and it’s usually awful to all but hi-fi nuts and sessions musicians (usually just the cats that played on that actual session).
But sometimes you find a way in. Sometimes you find something as calm as an Earl Klugh record, as enticing as George Benson in a mellow mood or Hank Crawford.
And there are worlds of players a lot of us never consider – or even really know about – because they make their money playing rock and pop sessions, going out on the road with all manner of stars or at the very least playing on their huge hit singles. And then their solo career is something off to the side…
Though I’d heard of guitarist Kenny Pore I only arrived at this new album because the drumming is by Vinnie Colaiuta, a player that has bedazzled me on his own records and when playing with everyone from Frank Zappa and Joni Mitchell to Sting and Don Henley. And so many other points in-between.
And here he is on the latest Kenny Pore album. And yes, it features Kenny G-styled sax and to anyone only listening to a quick soundbite it’s maybe not all that different, but if you stick with the album you might enjoy some moments. A light Steely Dan-styled shuffle across the opening title track, some lovely Klugh-like guitar underpinning the soprano sax on You’re Not Far Away and Thoughts of You, which actually feels like the sort of backing track Sting would croon across on his recent albums.
I know I’m not selling this to anyone.
And that’s never my job.
I’m just quite pleasantly caught up in the near-tranquility of this.
And maybe I’ll be over it soon and I might even wonder why I wrote this. But for right now I’m okay with these guitar/saxophone duets. Particularly the penultimate Another Place Across Town.
It’s a lot like some of Fourplay and Bob James’ material. And that’s the end of the smooth jazz spectrum I really enjoy.