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28

S A T U R D A Y

Kenny Garrett’s ’95 album, Triology, showed the alto saxophonist to be one of the finest reedmen in the mainstream. He has a beefier tone than most altoists, which is why Triology never sounds empty despite its lack of a chording instrument: Garrett can fill up space like Dom DeLuise at the dinner table. Garrett’s latest album, Pursuance, is a quartet date covering 10 Coltrane tracks. Although it received a furious treatment on the trio record, here, “Giant Steps” is merely tiptoed-through. Again, Garrett sounds great, as does dexterous drummer Brian Blade and bassist Rodney Whitaker, but I have a lot of problems with guitarist Pat Metheny (aside from his hair, of course). His support playing is fine, if strangely vacant, but his glib guitar solos consist of gooey jazz licks that gush forth as if a wincing Metheny were standing high atop a mountain range with the wind rushing through his mane. Jump, man, jump. The Kenny Garrett Group plays at 8 & 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Rear Wisconsin Ave. NW. $18. (202) 337-4141. (CP)