Print, Reviews November 5, 2019

Album Review: Kenyon Brenner – The Long and Short of It

by Valerie Vampola

Colorado-based Jazz saxophonist Kenyon Brenner steps into the spotlight on his first solo album The Long and Short of It

Brenner doesn’t rely too much on his soloing prowess to showcase his personality. He is a jazz musician, so he does show us he can shred a note, or twelve, like in “Beeline” and “Pull Your Weight.” But the album listens like a novel, each piece communicating an emotional story through beautiful composition and sensitive playing from Brenner and his band.

In pieces like “River Rock” and “Lost Love,” Brenner leaves out improvisational frills, keeping the tracks conversational and personal. He draws the listener in with his ability to convey a message with a horn the same way a vocalist would.

Kenyon Brenner’s debut Jazz quintet album The Long and Short of It is available for purchase in physical form every Friday night at Nocturne Jazz in Denver this month.

Matching Brenner’s moods on his solo debut are some of Colorado’s finest jazz musicians: Dana Landry on piano, Erik Applegate on bass, Jim White on drums, and Steve Kovalcheck on guitar. Brenner keeps the group conversation going with cool melodies and arrangements on pieces such as “This Moon” and his Downbeat Magazine honorable mention “Pensitivity.”

The intro and title track “Long And Short Of It” is two and a half minutes of improvised textures, where the band is following Brenner’s every feeling, from his loud cries to his diminuendos. The band makes permanent each good melody and idea by committing them to the recording.

NoCo jazz fans have heard what Brenner’s voice sounds like through his guest solos in many big band concerts, but in The Long And Short Of It, he tells us his personal stories, both the long-winded and the short and sweet.

Kenyon Brenner will be playing stories from The Long And Short Of It at Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club in Denver every Friday night in November, which is the best place to grab a copy of the album. For more information, visit by clicking here.