Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Bob Kenmotsu Quartet "I'm In Love With You"

OK, so your name is Bob Kenmotsu and you play tenor sax straight down the middle of swing-bop boulevard. But how are you going to impress a jazz reviewer in Portland, Oregon, one who has never heard of you? Just hire David Hazeltine, piano; David Wong, bass; and Billy Drummond, drums for your rhythm section. That'll get the guy's attention before he even pops the disc into the player. Well, it worked on me. Kenmotsu's eleven tune session is primarily original tunes. As any loyal bopper is likely to do he writes new changes on old standards here and there. For instance, "What Is This Thing Called Love" becomes "What Is This" and "Like Someone In Love" is "I Like Someone". Other originals of note include the medium tempo "BK Blues" and a wistful ballad "Sachan's Lullaby". The set closes with two standards: "Monk's Dream" is played a bit friskier than usual, and George and Ira's classic "But Not For Me" is a splendid closer. Kenmotsu's tenor is right out of the tradition. Never a note of excess and always in impeccable taste. The same should be said of his celebrated rhythm section. Yeah, I was definitely impressed!
Rodoken Music; 2015; 63:40

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