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Slowpoke by Ken Rose

"Slowpoke" is guitarist Ken Rose's debut album. Born and based in Boston, Rose studied with guitar great Randy Roos. After attending the Joint Services School of Music, where he performed with members of the jazz faculty, he was principal guitarist with the All American Jazz Ensemble. He is backed on this CD by Boston bassist John Turner and brother Steve Rose on drums.

The trio lays out a program of straight-ahead jazz on this CD and also enlists the talents of Charlie Kohlhase on bari sax and trumpeter Phil Grenadier (brother of bassist Larry Grenadier). Six of the nine tunes on the CD are Rose originals, kept company by Thelonius Monk's classic "Bye-Ya", John Lewis's Afternoon in Paris, and another John Lewis blues, "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West." Both Lewis tunes are performed as duets by Rose and Turner. Kohlhase adds his bop talents to the swinging opening number "No Moe Blues," and the final funky tune, "Lift." Grenadier contributes some introspective work on the haunting ballad "Jean Shaw."

The overall mood of this CD is very relaxed and reminiscent of Grant Green's more reflective work for Blue Note during the 1960's. Overall, this is an enjoyable debut effort featuring a tight, responsive band and inspired playing from its leader. Tag this effort as another reassurance that the future of jazz guitar is in good hands.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ken Rose
  • CD Title: Slowpoke
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Thirteenth Floor Music
  • Tracks: One Moe Blues, Old Friends, Two Degrees Ease, Three Degrees West, New Season, Jean Shaw, Bye-ya, Afternoon In Paris, Slow Poke, Lift
  • Musicians: Ken Rose (guitar), Steve Rose (drums), John Turner (bass), Charlie Kohlhase (bari sax), Phil Grenadier (trumpet)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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