Fire Breather with a Sax

Carlos Garnett decides to chill down here after almost 40 years in New York City

The hiatus lasted nine years. In 1991 Garnett started seriously practicing again and hit the New York club scene. He released the critically acclaimed comeback album Resurgence on Muse in 1995, and between his fierce playing on that album and his subsequent performances in New York City, there was renewed buzz about the ferocious Panamanian saxophonist. The gist of that buzz was clear: Carlos was back, and he was as bad as ever. No longer the young lion, Garnett was the old pro who'd shedded with the best, defeated his personal demons and come back better than he'd ever been before. The classic jazz story -- with a happy ending.

Garnett's subsequent albums, Fuego en Mi Alma and Under Nubian Skies, both on High Note, have been well received, and his combination of fire and maturity has proved to be a rare palatable blend. Garnett has another recording in the can, scheduled for release in February, and he plans to enter the studio again sometime next year. Meanwhile, he has been seen at local jazz clubs sparingly. He's played at the Groovy Grill a few times, and his first performance at Cezanne was as a substitute for Tex Allen. Word is the crowd was pleasantly surprised to discover Garnett has become a "local" talent. He hasn't played a large number of gigs in town yet. Given Garnett's reputation, expect that to change. At the same time, because he is an internationally recognized talent, his touring schedule likely will keep him from burning out in the Houston market. Garnett tours Japan and Europe frequently, and during the next few months will tour in Ghana and Panama and make a number of appearances on the East Coast.


Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11 (713)522-9621 21 and over
Cezanne, 4100 Montrose

Though he's not slowing down, Garnett already is enjoying the local lifestyle. "I've been having a lot of fun in Houston," he says. "A lot of regenerated energy. And the folks out there, they are just loving the way I play. I'm just feeding off of that, and I'm just blowing my brains out."

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