Robert Kenmotsu

Looking at Air

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Backed by a swinging trio consisting of Joel Weiskopf on piano, Essiet Okon Essiet on bass and the well-known Bill Stewart on drums, tenor saxophonist Bob Kenmotsu delightfully dances his way through four originals and four standards in this generally hard driving set. Stewart, of course, is superb in the driver's seat, egging the group on. You can hear traces of Coltrane, and even Hank Mobley in Kenmotsu's horn, but he is clearly molding his own style. While Kenmotsu seems a tad less comfortable on the slower pieces, and his solos less adventurous, he is willing to take chances when the tempo picks up. His takes of standards such as "My Shining Hour," "Love Letters" and "On Green Dolphin Street" are different and worth hearing. While this recording is clearly in the tradition, it hints at something more, and largely succeeds on its own terms.

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