MP3 Ken Rose - Slow Poke
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9 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, JAZZ: Bebop
Ken Rose's first CD, Slow Poke, was released in September 2002, and features six of his own compositions, two John Lewis tunes ('Afternoon in Paris' and 'Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West') and the Monk classic 'Bye-Ya'. The tunes represent a range of musical styles, from straight-ahead, jazz-inflected blues, jazz ballads and waltzes, to latin, funk and folksy grooves. The instrumentation also mixes things up, with guitar/bass duo, guitar trio, and quartet featuring either baritone saxophone or trumpet. Ken is joined on Slow Poke by some of Boston's finest jazz musicians, including brother Steve Rose on drums and John Turner on double-bass, with special guest appearances by baritone saxophone guru Charlie Kohlhase and cool trumpeter Phil Grenadier.
Reviews of Slow Poke in the jazz press have been very positive, with critics noting the maturity and economy in Ken's playing. One writer at https://www.tradebit.com wrote that "the logic of Rose's solos and the understated nature of his playing are more reminiscent of the work of the mature masters who take their time with solo construction and who concentrate on purity of sound. . . a style derived from mature attention to a burnished sound and formed by a narrative ability that ensnares the listener." On a similar note, a reviewer for https://www.tradebit.com commented that "Rose isn't a 'how fast can I play this thing?' kind of guitarist, he lingers over the notes and coaxes some muted blues-based licks that just hang there like slowly dissipating smoke. . . lightness of rhythmic touch coupled with elegant restraint from the guitar seems to sum up the CD." A second https://www.tradebit.com writer felt that Slow Poke was "reminiscent of Grant Green's more reflective work for Blue Note during the 1960's. . . 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." One critic for https://www.tradebit.com also noted that Ken Rose "is yet another fine new guitarist waiting to be discovered by the public and other plectrists. . . [he] distinguishes himself by sounding like a much older guitarist, a lyrical yet blues-based player like classic players from the '60s. This is a guy to listen to and enjoy the ride. He plays without jamming notes down our throats and seems to relish the clean articulation of his solos." And a writer for 20th Century Guitar Magazine remarked that "one of the outstanding new players on the jazz guitar scene, Rose effortlessly amazes with Slow Poke--for atmospheric, smoky-room jazz guitar vibes, it doesn't get any better."
Ken Rose was born and raised in the Boston area. After picking up the guitar at age thirteen, he was quickly drawn to jazz. In the liner notes to Pat Metheny's solo debut Bright Size Life, Gary Burton noted that Boston was "guitar heaven, or the opposite, depending on your viewpoint (there are more guitarists in Boston than anywhere on earth)." While still in high school, Ken was exposed to many great guitarists in Boston's jazz clubs, including Jim Hall, Mick Goodrick, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Bill Frisell, John Abercrombie and Mike Stern. Also as a high school student, Ken was fortunate to study privately with guitarist/composer Randy Roos. The regular duo performances of Randy Roos and Mick Goodrick were an important early influence.
After finishing high school, Ken did a stint in the US Army Band, touring the East Coast with the All American Jazz Ensemble. After leaving the Army Band, Ken performed in a range of contexts, from straight-ahead jazz to experimental music. While studying in Illinois, he was part of the experimental improvisational ensemble WALLEYE, whose instrumental lineup included trombone, bassoon, alto saxophone, acoustic bass, percussion and guitar. He currently lives and works in Hong Kong.
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