Jazz trumpeter Kenny Wellington is one of the founders of the legendary British jazz funk band Light Of The World. Wellington is also a member of the offshoot band Beggar & Co. Kenny performed with Tom Browne, Tina Turner, Incognito, Spandau Ballet, Boy George, and many more.
His new solo project Free Spirit (2016) is inspired by the horn players of the past Donald Byrd, Jimmy Owens, Chuck Mangione, Eddie Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis and continues the tradition of British jazz funk and the acid jazz genre.
Kenny performs on the new album trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals, all the programming and bass. Further musicians are David Baptiste (sax, flute, backing vocals), Jerome Harper (trombone), Clifford Rees (strings, violin, cello), Camelle Hinds (bass, percussion), Breeze McKrieth (guitar), Toby Baker (synthesizers), Steve Salvari (keyboards), Billy Osborne (drums), Ian da Prada (vibraphone), and Augie Johnson, Bobbie Lee Anderson, Gee Morris Osborne, David Lee Andrews (vocals).
The party starts with Heading Home. With jaunty flute, groovy trumpet, jazzy vibraphone and uplifting vocals this collective package of joy and global flair embrace the listeners. Free Spirit draws the limelight to Kenny's trumpet performance underlined by a rhythmically vibrant bass.
Dreaming of Futures Bright intermingles a collage of vintage instruments with a significant bass as platform for Kenny's signal-like trumpet call. The refrain Kings for a Day, Masters of the Night accompanies Kenny's muted trumpet excursion into the realm of jazz. Ian da Prada on vibes peppers the song to something extraordinary.
Fat Cherry sounds like an intro to the movie of Shaft. Manic Monday, Magic Sunday presents anew Kenny's crystal clear trumpet sound in juxtaposition to the melodious vocals and the horn arrangement of the 80's. Exotically magical sounds the tone like a saw blade played by a bow.
Wellington gives The Cat in the Hat a new existential right as music theme. Hypnotic repeating the motif pierces into the ear canal. E3 Symphony promotes the classical approach. Introduced by a captivating horn arrangement Kenny improvises on trumpet intertwined by a symphonic poem. When the singers signalize "It's a symphony!", everyone understands the message.
Box champion Joe Louis once stated: "You Can Run (But You Sure Can't Hide)". We don't know, if Kenny had thought of this saying, when he wrote the song. The lyrics do not allow interpretations, since they serve only as a rhythmic element. Rebop is an early name for bebop, a form of jazz music, still used in the UK in the 1970s. Kenny celebrates on this song his mastery of groove.
Heading Home takes the theme of the intro again with Ian da Prada on vibes in the focus. Miles 2 Go is essentially a tribute to Miles Davis wrapped in the typical dance floor appeal of British jazz funk.
Free Spirit inhales the sound of Kenny Wellington's musical past. British jazz funk has gained a solid fan base and with such a splendid piece of musical virtuosity Kenny can still crack the charts.
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Title: Free Spirit