I started playing with tenor saxophonist Kenny Brooks when I was a junior in high school. We co-led quintets together for years. I suppose he was probably the peer that had the greatest influence on me as a player. Both of us studied with George Garzone and listened to a lot of the same cats. We used to play Abersolds for hours on end, really pushing each other to play better. If it wasn't for Kenny B I might have ended up going to North Texas State, where I had a scholarship, instead of Berklee. I would have ended up a "SuperJazz" saxophonist!!!!!!! (cold shudder) BRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
His sound is round and dark, he swings his ass off and his lines are SICK. He was on the road with Charlie Hunter for a while and recorded "Natty Dreds" with him on the Blue Note label. He now has one the most lucrative gigs for a saxophonist today- Rat Dog, a Garteful Dead cover band led by the great Bob Weir. KB had to memorize about 300 Dead tunes for this gig. They are on the road several months a year and getting bigger and bigger all the time. A few other buddies I used to play with in the Bay Area are also on the band- Jeff Chimenti and Jay Lane. Kenny B has a nice web site with some good transcriptions and interesting sound clips. He is also a founding member,along with Dred Scott, of a truly great Bay Area Acid-Jazz/Hip-bop group called Alphabet Soup. I miss playing with all these guys a lot.
(KB and I are on Dred's 'Small Clubs are Dead' 1993 release.)
Some of the sidemen that played with our Quintet:
Eddie Marshal, Larry Grenadier, Dred Scott, Jeff Ballard, Kenny Wollesen, Dimitry Metheny, Tom White, John Medeski, Jesse Murphy, Neal Hiedler, Wesley Wirth, Scott Amendola, Matt Gleason, Graham Conah, Alex Candelaria, John Witalla, Liberty Ellman, Dave McNabb, Smith Dobson, Smith Dobson jr.