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Brandon Wright: Boiling Point (2010)

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Brandon Wright: Boiling Point How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The word tenor, in Latin, refers to "a continuous holding to a course," and tenor saxophonist Brandon Wright does just that on Boiling Point. Whether Wright is engaging in a musical boxing match with trumpeter Alex Sipiagin
Alex Sipiagin
Alex Sipiagin
b.1967
trumpet
or crooning over pianist David Kikoski
David Kikoski
David Kikoski
b.1961
piano
on an established ballad, he always seems to maintain a consistent musical presence that transcends tempo, feel and style. Perhaps it's his tone, which is big but not too brash and attractive, yet far from smooth, that ties it altogether. Regardless of what it is, Wright makes it work across these eight tracks.

Of course, some of the credit must also go to the rest of the band. Bassist Hans Glawischnig
Hans Glawischnig
Hans Glawischnig
b.1970
bass
is the rock at the center of it all, making sure that everything lines up and is held together in just the right way. Drummer Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
b.1964
drums
, one of the most creative and enjoyable forces on the jazz scene today, has the rare ability to be fully interactive, while also maintaining his role as a key rhythmic element that locks in the time for the rest of the band. Kikoski occasionally shows a fondness for McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
b.1938
piano
's piano playing in his own sound, but he isn't nearly as percussive as Tyner often was on his classic recordings. He also happens to have tremendous range as an artist and an incredible touch on the piano.

Sipiagin is the perfect frontline partner for Wright and he finds a good balance between bold and controlled. He creates some musical fireworks on Wright originals like "Odd Man Out" and "Castaway" but he can also turn it down a few notches for gentler material. While the aforementioned "Castaway" and the title track demonstrate Wright's ability to write and play in a more aggressive manner, he works equally well in a more relaxed setting. His "Drift" sounds like it could have been an outtake from Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
's Maiden Voyage (Blue Note, 1965) and his performance on "Here's That Rainy Day" is soothing and refined. His tone takes on a velvet-like quality here as he gently glides over Kikoski's piano. While his playing often heats up the material on this album, it's Brandon Wright's ability to go from cool to hot and everything in between that proves to be his greatest strength on Boiling Point.

Track Listing: Free Man; Drift; Odd Man Out; Boiling Point; Here's That Rainy Day; Castaway; Interstate Love Song; You're My Everything.

Personnel: Brandon Wright: tenor saxophone; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet; David Kikoski: piano; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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