12th Street Serenade
Brent Kimbrough & Company
Brent Kimbrough – Guitar
Victor Garcia – Trumpet
Chris Neal – Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Bradford – Tenor Saxophone
Chris Mahieu – Piano
Dan Tabion – Electric Keyboard
Chris Carani – Acoustic Bass
Kurt Schweitz – Electric Bass
Phil Fornett – Drums
Chicago-based guitarist Bren Kimbrough is no stranger to leading a band. The recent album, 12th Street Serenade, marked Kimbrough’s third major release. Surrounding himself with many of Chicago’s jazz juggernauts, the album fires on all cylinders and comprises original compositions by Kimbrough. This work draws a great deal of emotion from the listener while using musical genres outside of the jazz realm to inspire.
The title track, “12th Street Serenade,” is a groovy medium-swing tune and serves as a great opener for the record, as many of the band members stretch out. Trumpeter Victor Garcia, pianist Chris Mahieu, bassist Chris Carani, and Kimbrough, each display masterfully virtuosic solos setting the bar high for the remainder of the album.
Another standout, “La Danza De Carmen,” is a fiery up-tempo tune with a Latin tinge to it. It features a solo by Kimbrough on acoustic guitar, and ones by Garcia and tenor saxophonist Chris Neal.
Amidst the technical prowess displayed by each musician, there is also a beautiful spirit that could not have been conjured by mere circumstance. During a brief stay in Washington D.C., Kimbrough and his family experienced a personal tragedy. Much of the music on the record is the result of Kimbrough flushing out emotion, via his arranging. Kimbrough’s “Sweeping” is wrought with emotion that perhaps may have come directly from this experience.
12th Street Serenade is an album that has something for everyone, and each song stands out and is fashioned by different poignant emotions. Through joy, pain, elation, and hope, this recording uses life’s unrelenting march to bring listeners a thing of beauty.