Soul and Jazz and Funk
Bill B. July 8, 2015
“‘Game On’ is a pacey, soul groove enhanced by spirited guitar courtesy of special guest Chuck Loeb. Readers of a certain vintage may well be reminded of prime time Crusaders.”
Carol Banks Weber July 22, 2015
“Kenyon Carter’s zest for life is apparent with every sinewy, shadowy, and sensual peek into Game On.”
Hans-Bernd Hulsmann July 21, 2015
“With Game On Kenyon Carter is on a good way to be recognized as serious sax player in the smooth jazz scene. It will be interesting, in what direction he is evolving on future releases.”
Smooth Jazz Daily
July 17, 2015
“The third album seemed like a milestone thus Carter focused on elevating his game feeling like the time to breakthrough in a big way is now. Hitting full stride artistically, he ably demonstrates his proficiency as a player on tenor, soprano and baritone sax while constructing layers of rhythmic grooves that buttress sweet melodies and lush harmonies. Whether serenely serenading, dexterously exploring the outer limits on a meandering run or uncorking fiery wails as if his life depended upon it, Carter’s sax play serves in the best interest of the ensnaring melodies and gripping rhythms without overstepping or over dramatizing.”
Jonathan Widran July 15, 2015
“Overcoming a serious car crash related arm injury that could have derailed his musical dreams, Atlanta saxophonist Kenyon Carter continues to show the power of perseverance, declaring GAME ON with this high octane blast of world class contemporary jazz. A follow up to his hymn driven tribute Songs For My Father, this collection – which features Chuck Loeb’s sizzling electric guitar on the title track – is a hard hitting musical snapshot that combines the artist’s love for pop, R&B, funk and elements of straight ahead amidst the Smooth Jazz. Get your grooving’ GAME ON with Carter’s infectious flow!”
The Smooth Jazz Ride
Ronald Jackson July 14, 2015
“The project, completely written and produced by Carter, features guitar guru Chuck Loeb on the blistering title track and has some fantastic horn arrangements throughout.In a nutshell, here again is proof of what sheer determination and will can do. If this effort can’t convince one to never say “never,” I don’t know what will. Two thumbs up effort.”
Chris Spector July 10, 2015
“Stirring it up from the corner where fusion and smooth jazz first met when smooth jazz still had some bite and fusion hadn’t had the corners rounded off yet, Carter brings back a welcome sound and heat for everyone that thought Coltrane’s sax was a little too unwieldy, particularly in the later years. Plugging in to just the right time and tide, Carter delivers the good times that you just don’t want to see end. Hot stuff throughout.”
World Renowned Saxophonist, Composer, & Recording Artist
Troy Roberts July 27, 2014
“Upon first listening, I was pleasantly surprised to hear jazz arrangements of repertoire I grew up with in church. But after just a few more listens, I realized how intriguing and rich the playing and writing on this record actually is. Having summoned an ensemble of extremely versatile and gifted musicians, Kenyon has carefully sculpted his own original renditions of the Christian songbook, displaying a rare balance of musical intellect and tasteful simplicity. But most importantly, this record is wonderfully unique in that it forges a special connection with the general public whilst also capturing the attention of the musical aficionado.”
The Jazz Evangelist
J. Scott Fugate July 23, 2014
“Kenyon Carter has shined his creative light on one of the foundational aspects of jazz in his new release, “Songs for My Father” — sacred songs and hymns, several of which were among the first to be adapted over a century ago, translated through the blues and given the “call and response” treatment upon which jazz was built. Kenyon’s virtuosity is on full display here in his diverse arrangements as well as his range, covering a spectrum of jazz styles from blues, swing, smooth, straight ahead, and even a light bossa on “To God Be The Glory”. This album is a rich, relaxing and spiritual experience that will warm your soul.”
Denis Poole March 27, 2012
“Those who take an interest in the Groove Jazz charts of most played on smooth jazz radio will have noticed the impact rapidly emerging Kenyon Carter is currently making. His smoothly mellifluous ‘Sangria Sunday’ is certainly creating some waves and comes from Carter’s excellent debut album ‘Right By My Side’. With a playing style that is exemplified by his full-ness of tone, this Atlanta based sax-man certainly seems to have a promising future ahead of him.
Indeed, Carter’s big sound is a feature of much of the collection and none more so than with the swaggering title cut where he quickly demonstrates the feel he has for radio ready contemporary jazz. The hugely accessible ‘Emerge’ is another track which could easily find its way to the airwaves and in this respect is in the good company of ‘Makes Me Wanna’ that proves to be a well constructed mid tempo gem.
Elsewhere, with a splash of the Caribbean that almost makes you feel the sand between your toes, ‘Flip Flops’ is a sunshine filled delight yet just as good is a cool and interesting cover of the Van Morrison classic ‘Moondance’. Truth to tell this one is right up there with the CD’s finest while other personal favorites include the zesty ‘Skyline’ and the even better ‘On The Rebound’ which enjoys a particularly tasty melody and a delightful hook.
Another cover version, and this time coming totally out of left field, is an inspired contemporary jazz version of ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ which has variously garnered hits for Keith Whitley, Alison Kraus and most recently Roland Keating who performed it on the soundtrack of the 1999 movie ‘Notting Hill’.
Switching moods, ‘Connection’ is a reflective number with an easy grooving style and although ‘God Bless The Broken Road’ is crafted in the best traditions of smooth jazz ballads, the romantically inclined ‘Anne’s Wedding’ serves as a wonderful end to what is a truly outstanding album.”
Bruce Pulver June 13, 2011
“Wanting his music “listenable and something you feel,” Atlanta Saxophonist, Kenyon Carter, scores a Bullseye with his release, “Right By My Side”. Mr. Carter finds the right balance of smooth grooves with the just the right touch of jagged edge. Influenced by the masters of many styles and musical periods, this recording delivers a casual feel which is both comfortable in the concrete city jungle and at ease at the lake or mountain retreat. Think of it as casual, like a favorite pair of blue jeans and un-tucked cotton shirt, complimented by those shoes with a little attitude.
Music made by friends can produce an intangible element obtained when the focused work effort includes the aspects of deep friendship and keeping it fun. Mr. Carter calls on his buddies to bring this music to life. After few listens, “Right By My Side”, proves to be a contagious collection of songs which blend easily for a dinner party sound track or a Sunday morning solo session with coffee and the paper. You decide, bet you chose both.
“Right By My Side” is the title of Kenyon Carter’s latest project. It is also a great place to keep this CD. Thanks, Kenyon, there is certainly room for more right next to this CD. Keep ‘em coming!”
Ronald Jackson February 22, 2012
“Veteran saxophonist Kenyon Carter, who has played with and is well regarded by many of his peers in contemporary jazz, has decided that it’s time to give the solo thing a whirl and produce his debut release, Right By My Side, a cozy 12-track project with some very easily appealing tracks.
Right By My Side is a pretty solid production possessing a modest yet still gutsy character of many moods. There’s material (e.g., the title track and “Sangria Sunday”) that kind of saunters along in a serene, mid-tempo carefree manner. Then, there’s the slow-to-mid-tempo stroll along some quiet beach or other romantic setting with “Connection” and “Makes Me Wanna.” There’s the almost bluesy and spiritually charged (and interestingly titled) “God Bless the Broken Road.” There’s also the “get up” groove of the up-tempo tracks like a cool cover of Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” the driving “Skyline,” and the island-kissed “Flip Flops.”
All in all, Carter has done an impressive job of capturing the moods, flavors, and rhythms of the sound he’d like to represent and carry as his calling card. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is the most exciting or imaginative project I’ve ever heard, but it has very nice qualities and vibes and is certainly “at home” here, as grooves go.
A CD of expression, Right By My Side takes its time…period. There’s no sense of urgency, although the up-tempo pieces are attention-getters, as up-tempo pieces go. This is M-E-L-L-O-W — so much so that the artist has regarded it as crossing over to easy listening and instrumental pop. At one point, he states that it’s “the perfect instrumental pop album to play as a background soundtrack at both home and in the workplace.” Quite honestly, I’m not comfortable viewing this as “background instrumental pop,” but, you know, I suppose it is. Still, it’s very good instrumental pop. I’d perhaps like to hear more of a “muscular” presence and sass in the future, and maybe we can then unequivocally deem this as good ol’ solid contemporary jazz. As it stands, it still serves its purpose well.”
Patrick Van de Wiele October 06, 2011
*Translated with Google Translate*
“The American saxophonist Kenyon Carter was born and grew up in South Georgia, Tifton particular. He received a BA in jazz and music education at Valdosta State University and a master’s in jazz studies at Georgia State University.
During his school years he worked as a bandleader and held a private studio saxstudenten after. He currently lives with his wife in Atlanta, where he composes full time, arranges and produces music. Also, he remains at saxstudenten teaching. His influences come from both jazz (Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley, Sonny Stitt), from pop (Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson), from country (Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Alison Krauss) and from smooth jazz (Grover Washington Jr., Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum).
This is his first CD, which he wanted to give listeners a soundtrack that they can use while they are cooking, or to relax with a glass of wine, or during a cocktail party. He himself describes it as “relaxing pop-jazz.” There are nine original compositions and three covers.
The title track opens the album, melodic and mid-tempo, followed by the equally relaxing ‘Sangria Sunday. Van Morrison’s “Moondance” is the next track, well known and well covered. ‘Connection’ is a soft song that suits me fine, followed by Skyline, up-tempo. With “God Bless The Broken Road” proves he honor his Creator, who is his source of strength. When he was indeed in a car accident lost the use of his arm, he prayed for healing and he promised to play sax in his name, and done so the miracle.
“When You Say Nothing at All” is also a successful cover, and “Emerge” is coming. Kenyon donates a portion of the proceeds to Emerge, which provides for women whose education was interrupted, and who want. ‘On the Rebound “is very soft, but nice, real smooth jazz. “Flip Flops” that which Caribbean with his kettle drums, and Anne’s Wedding “Exit. The day he met his future wife, he wrote the first notes for this song.
Kenyon also hopes to become known locally and nationally, to tour and this album to sell. “Kenyon, nice album, smooth and relaxing. And yes, I’d love to come to your next cocktail party. Love to hear your next project. ”