Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The Elegant Sadness of Kamau Kenyatta

“I think the whole session was an example of everyone making each other sound better.”

Kamau Kenyatta usually produces records for other jazz musicians. Then, “I was given the opportunity to release... music under my own name, and I took it.”
Kamau Kenyatta usually produces records for other jazz musicians. Then, “I was given the opportunity to release... music under my own name, and I took it.”

“It was one of those rare sessions where everything just ‘clicked’ and went very smoothly,” says musician Kamau Kenyatta, discussing his new album The Elegant Sadness, featuring trumpeter Curtis Taylor, saxophonist Brian Clancy, bassist Mackenzie Leighton, drummer Richard Sellers, percussionist David Castañeda, and, on two tracks, iconic flute player Hubert Laws.

Kenyatta described himself as “very satisfied” with the recording over the phone from his hometown of Detroit.

“At the most, we did two or three takes of each song,” Kenyatta explained. “I’ve played with Richard since 1992, so we’ve got a long history together. And if I could choose any trumpet player in the world, it would be Curtis. I love his lyricism, and his patience, and his sound. Everything I want to hear from a bass player I hear from Mack Leighton. David’s percussion brings a special beauty to the sonic environment. I think the whole session was an example of everyone making each other sound better. And when you get a chance to play with Hubert Laws – it either brings the best out of you or you fold.”

These days Kenyatta is best known as a record producer, especially after working with vocalist Gregory Porter on all of his albums, two of which won Grammy Awards. He’s been busy recording Porter’s latest (as-of-yet untitled) effort, tracked in L.A. at the world-famous Capitol Records Building. I asked Kenyatta how the sessions were going and what it was like working in the same studio that yielded gold records from a plethora of pop music elites.

“Gregory continues to write wonderful material, and he’s in top form, vocally. It’s not quite finished yet. You can’t help but be aware of Capitol’s history, because you see all of these framed photos of Sinatra and Nat ‘King’ Cole when you walk in. The architect designed it to look like a stack of 45s on a changer — it’s a beautiful place to record.”

What prompted Kenyatta to release an album under his own name? “The project was actually recorded a few years back. I was asked to score the soundtrack for a documentary about Gregory called Don’t Forget Your Music. I was given the opportunity to release the music under my own name, and I took it, that’s the story.”

Where can fans pick up a copy of The Elegant Sadness?

“So far, we’re not doing a physical CD yet. It’s available on Amazon, and will be soon on iTunes and multiple streaming services.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Covid-19 casts a pall over San Diego political money

Barbara Bry's daughter lends $5000
Kamau Kenyatta usually produces records for other jazz musicians. Then, “I was given the opportunity to release... music under my own name, and I took it.”
Kamau Kenyatta usually produces records for other jazz musicians. Then, “I was given the opportunity to release... music under my own name, and I took it.”

“It was one of those rare sessions where everything just ‘clicked’ and went very smoothly,” says musician Kamau Kenyatta, discussing his new album The Elegant Sadness, featuring trumpeter Curtis Taylor, saxophonist Brian Clancy, bassist Mackenzie Leighton, drummer Richard Sellers, percussionist David Castañeda, and, on two tracks, iconic flute player Hubert Laws.

Kenyatta described himself as “very satisfied” with the recording over the phone from his hometown of Detroit.

“At the most, we did two or three takes of each song,” Kenyatta explained. “I’ve played with Richard since 1992, so we’ve got a long history together. And if I could choose any trumpet player in the world, it would be Curtis. I love his lyricism, and his patience, and his sound. Everything I want to hear from a bass player I hear from Mack Leighton. David’s percussion brings a special beauty to the sonic environment. I think the whole session was an example of everyone making each other sound better. And when you get a chance to play with Hubert Laws – it either brings the best out of you or you fold.”

These days Kenyatta is best known as a record producer, especially after working with vocalist Gregory Porter on all of his albums, two of which won Grammy Awards. He’s been busy recording Porter’s latest (as-of-yet untitled) effort, tracked in L.A. at the world-famous Capitol Records Building. I asked Kenyatta how the sessions were going and what it was like working in the same studio that yielded gold records from a plethora of pop music elites.

“Gregory continues to write wonderful material, and he’s in top form, vocally. It’s not quite finished yet. You can’t help but be aware of Capitol’s history, because you see all of these framed photos of Sinatra and Nat ‘King’ Cole when you walk in. The architect designed it to look like a stack of 45s on a changer — it’s a beautiful place to record.”

What prompted Kenyatta to release an album under his own name? “The project was actually recorded a few years back. I was asked to score the soundtrack for a documentary about Gregory called Don’t Forget Your Music. I was given the opportunity to release the music under my own name, and I took it, that’s the story.”

Where can fans pick up a copy of The Elegant Sadness?

“So far, we’re not doing a physical CD yet. It’s available on Amazon, and will be soon on iTunes and multiple streaming services.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Cigarette smokers across the border take a hit

Duty-free stores help
Next Article

Anne Bradstreet: the first writer in North America to be published

The first poet of importance in the American literary tradition
Comments
1
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Nov. 1, 2019

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close