Speak No Evil Jazz blog

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Album Review: Bob Kenmotsu, 'I’m in Love with You'

Stockton native Bob Kenmotsu is one of the unsung heroes of contemporary jazz. On his new CD, I’m in Love with You, Bob takes the chord changes to jazz standards such as “What Is This Thing Called Love” and “Like Someone In Love,” and invents new melodic content on his full-bodied tenor sax.

Kenmotsu has worked and recorded with high profile jazz masters, including Pat Martino, Jack McDuff, and Billy Hart. For this album, he selected sidemen with equally impressive resumes, including pianist David Hazeltine, drummer Billy Drummond, and bassist David Wong.

Bob breathes new life into old standards but also offers some romantic originals, including the title composition and “Jun-ko,” a beautiful ballad on which Bob’s tenor says “I love you,” musically. On Thelonious Monk’s “Monk’s Dream,” Bob and company navigate the angular and tricky chord changes with ease.

Bob lived in Japan from ’94 – ’97, playing many clubs and festivals. He now resides in the bay area, but continues to visit the jazz mecca of New York City, where he’s worked with many jazz greats. Although he’s traveled widely, Kenmotsu has never forgotten his central valley roots.

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