Kevin Mackenzie - East of East 7th Street (4 stars)

Kevin Mackenzie - East of East 7th Street

(Laundry Room Music)

A fine collection of intelligent and often absorbing contemporary jazz from Scottish guitarist Kevin Mackenzie, in partnership with three players from across the Atlantic. Mackenzie is a familiar figure on the Scottish jazz (and folk) scene in a variety of contexts, but this latest outing as a leader reflects both a period he spent in New York, and subsequent collaborations in Edinburgh with the New York-based musicians Boris Kozlov (bass) and Ben Perowsky (drums).

That core trio is augmented by Donny McCaslin’s probing, inventive tenor saxophone work on ‘Dr K’s Conundrum’ and ‘The Life Sprinter’, two of the 12 Mackenzie compositions that make up the album. The guitarist’s fluid explorations of their melodic and harmonic possibilities are matched by inventive contributions and responsive interaction from his colleagues.

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