Shannon Kennedy: Back Again Review
Shannon Kennedy is a multi-faceted artist, composer, producer, performer, recording artist and music instructor. By maintaining diversity as a performer and composer, she has developed an exciting and constantly evolving career in contemporary music. Primarily recognized as a ‘powerhouse saxophonist’ throughout Southern California, Kennedy is currently releasing her latest album, Back Again. The album contains ten tracks and features Peter White, Chieli Minucci, Kat Dyson, Jordan West, Kurt Hamernick, and Jeff Carlson. Kennedy offers the listener a nice balance of her own compositions and well-arranged covers.
“Something” starts Back Again with a deep groove and Kennedy quickly establishing her passionate saxophone playing as the driving force in the tune. The various guitar figures provide a nice harmonic and rhythmic backdrop for the relaxed melody. The song form develops nicely over time and there is plenty of tension and release. A very musical nylon-strung guitar solo adds a beautiful color. The bridge is very impressive, with Kennedy creating an intimate moment. Kennedy’s solo is melodic and develops into some very nice upper register wails. The result, a strong opening track that is musical and melodic.
“Back Again” keeps the smooth mood flowing. Kennedy does a good job with pacing on the album and “Back Again” is one of the highlights. With influences from Latin rhythms and pop music sounds, the tune is driven by keyboard sounds and bass line. Kennedy delivers the melody with style and the orchestration is interesting with a lot of layering of sounds. Kennedy’s solo is very strong at the end of the tune, she sounds impassioned and vivacious.
Back Again is an enjoyable collection of tunes that have many styles and sounds all presented in a smooth jazz styling. Overall, the music is themed by a feel-good vibe with smooth saxophone playing leading the way. There is a little funk, R&B, some pop and a whole lot of sounds that let you know this is smooth jazz. Back Again is an album that has a smooth jazz base, but it is clear that Kennedy had a good time exploring other contemporary musical influences. Another win for Kennedy and her positive up-lifting music.
June 1, 2019