Ken Ross - Caught In The Current


Ken Ross is one of these artists, his modesty hinders his knowledge-degree. Insiders knows that Ken is a young trumpet player from LA, who already played with Scott Wilkie, Greg Karukas, Alec Milstein or Daniel Ho. It's rather difficult to find out anything about this artist. His website only contains the most necessary. On several occasions I asked him for a bio, no chance. Well, that's no offending position, because I know gentle caracter personally by several meetings. First time I had the opportunity to observe his skills at the Wave Music Festival in Düsseldorf in Kaiserwerth in 2000, where he played  together with Scott Wilkie. 

When Michael van Droff informed me about the dates of the new gigs in 2002, I gave Ken a tip and he was onstage again in the Nachtresidenz in Düsseldorf and later in Hamburg. One day before the first gig I met him together with Anthony Weedon  and Christian Babl (Wave Music) and had a long talk during a nice dinner. On this occassion he gave me his new album "Caught In The Current", which is still exclusively available over his website. If you like to listen to his music, check out this link:

Besides this I recommend you all albums of Soul Ballet, on which Ken plays trumpet and flugelhorn.

Ken's debut album was created with the support of many musicians Ken plays with. While Ken was the producer, the album was co-produced by Scott Wilkie and engineered by Ken Ross, Scott Wilkie and Gregg Karukas. First of all this album is an album of a trumpet player and Ken's trumpet is the lead instrument.

Caught In The Current is a funky tune. Alec Milstein plays a propulsing slap bass. Ken pushed in some tones before he develops his main melody. I would compare his playing with Herb Alpert's style (Second Winds, Colors).

Ken Ross' measured trumpet melody contrasts with the staccato play of the other instruments on Gemini Rising. A very dynamic piece. 

A nice brass section is added on Midnight Motion, which is played in the film noir mood. Gene Burk plays sax and Louis Bonilla trombone.

Sticks and Stones is an interesting mixture of modern smooth jazz added with some Latin jazz and fusion jazz elements. Engaging, agreeable but sophisticated enough by some raw music parts.

Sometimes a title of a piece elucidates the imagination, which a musician combines with his tune. I don't know, if Montuno Beach is really an existing location. But I know that for example Montuno is a style of popular dance music that originated in the Oriente province of Cuba. It is the foundation of modern salsa. Ken and Dean Fransen transform attitude and vibrating heat of the south into this tune. 

Show Me The Way is featuring the smooth voice of Robbyn Kirmesse accompanied by Ken's mellow trumpet. Some R'n B, some smooth jazz are melting to a sensual song.

Ken's muted trumpet, Michael Fash's piano and Andy Suzuki's sax are developing a dreamy atmosphere on the slowtempo contemplative After Hours

Congas and bongos are the right frame for the Latin flavored Your Arms, on which Byron Motley shows his loud-voiced power. A sought after session singer, Byron can be heard on several jingles and recordings throughout the United States, Japan & Europe. He has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Mellissa Ethridge and Joe Cocker. He performed on Broadway alongside Patti LuPone in the acclaimed show "Patti LuPone On Broadway", and, toured with Barry Manilow.

Watercolors marks Ken's straight ahead position. Listen to Daniel Ho's pure piano, David Owen's jazz brushs instead of drum programming and Trey Henry's acoustic bass instead a fender bass.

The final Bop Chops is a straight ahead going, well-mooded tune. A good platform for jamming solos at a live stage.

Michael Patches Stewart, Rick Braun, Chris Botti are trumpists immediately coming into mind recalling the contemporary jazz style. Now you can add a further name: Ken Ross. Trust me, this guy will have a great career.


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