Album Review of
Colors of Brazil

Written by Joe Ross
March 8, 2021 - 4:16pm EST
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Saxophonist Kenney Polson’s Colors of Brazil album offers smooth jazz with a creative sense of worldly Latinesque adventure. Born to a musical family in Kansas City, Polson earned a master's degree in jazz composition and arranging from Howard University in 1997. Widely travelled, Polson has given ten tunes a new groove by incorporating sounds and textures from unique instruments such as harp, Japanese koto and African nGnoni. Polson spent five years performing and recording in Rio de Janeiro. On selections like “Caravan” and “Bicycle Ride,” we hear a few of the album’s Brazilian musicians, Marinho Boffa (keyboards), Paulinho Trompete (trumpet), and the late Nico Assumpção (bass) who composed “Mariana” for his daughter. They’re also featured on Polson’s self-penned number, “Hipnotizado (Mesmerized).” While Polson’s feet are solidly planted in smooth jazz and funk, his Brazilian colleagues contributed exhilarating styles such as samba, partido alto, samba/funk, and afoxé. Four tracks were recorded in Brazil and six in the U.S.  While the album is certainly sax-centric, I also appreciated the imagination and elegant taste conveyed on guitar and nGnoni (by Leni Stern), harp (Mariea Antoinette), koto (Mitsuki Dazai and Dr. Osamu Kitajima), piano (Federico Pena), keyboard (Todd Simon), and many others. “Incompatidade De Genios” includes some vocalise by Arrieta Ward and a scat solo by Azure McCall. Polson proves that the language of music knows no barriers and also is a great vehicle for building bridges.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)