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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.

Determining the order of tracks on an album can be as significant as gathering the right ensemble of musicians for a project. On both accounts, saxophonist Brandon Wright has succeeded very well on his debut, Boiling Point, for which he penned five of the eight compositions. The opening "Free Man" grabs hold at once, with the piano/bass/drums rhythm section paving the way, in just a few beats, for a strong melodic entrance by Wright and trumpeter Alex Sipiagin
Alex Sipiagin
Alex Sipiagin
b.1967
trumpet
(Mingus Big Band/Dynasty/Orchestra, Dave Holland
Dave Holland
Dave Holland
b.1946
bass
Big Band, Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
Michael Brecker
1949 - 2007
sax, tenor
's Quindectet).



As soon as Wright kicks off on his own, thoughts emerge of how the legacy of great jazz legends is being kept alive; a notion that finds more room for contemplation during the intro to "Drift." It's a sensitive piece where, again, both Wright and Sipiagin narrate a rich melodic line until the saxophonist takes lead in an engaging musical monologue. "Odd Man Out" starts with a luscious piano intro by David Kikoski

David Kikoski
David Kikoski
b.1961
piano
; a great composition with a catchy recurring theme, around where Wright, Sipiagin and Kikoski play their hand in tasteful abundance. The aptly named, up-tempo title track—halfway through the album—touches on Wright's many influences and encounters as a sideman, ranging from his Miami school days to touring with various ensembles including Gregg Field
Gregg Field
b.1956
, the Chico O'Farrill
Chico O'Farrill
Chico O'Farrill
1921 - 2001
composer/conductor
Latin Big Band, the Maria Schneider
Maria Schneider
Maria Schneider

band/orchestra
Jazz Orchestra and Chuck Mangione
Chuck Mangione
Chuck Mangione
b.1940
flugelhorn
.



The beautiful standard "Here's That Rainy Day," by Jimmy Van Heusen, is poised and very elegant, qualities that also define the rest of the album. "Castaway," yet another up-tempo piece, is the longest on the album at over nine minutes, highlighting conversational as well as solo skills between Wright, Sipiagin and Kikoski, whilst bassist Hans Glawischnig

Hans Glawischnig
Hans Glawischnig
b.1970
bass
and drummer Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson
b.1964
drums
offer appropriate detail, accent and deceiving invisibility. "Interstate Love Song," a hit from Stone Temple Pilots, contains a clever arrangement that highlights Wright's ability to transform any kind of music. The album concludes with "You're My Everything," from Harry Warren (one of the first major American songwriters), with Kikoski taking much of the credit for this instrumental yet narrative-rich version, as well as pushing Wilson a little bit in the front.



Though not innovative and, in many ways, treading familiar ground, Wright and his excellent band do offer a fresh and solid incarnation of the jazz idiom: soulful, lyrical, narrative and sensitive, technically skilled and emotionally evolved. Boiling Point is an intelligent debut from a young musician whose broad, award-winning musical horizon is portrayed with a fine sense for both traditional and contemporary sounds.


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 sax; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet; David Kikoski: piano; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Style: Modern Jazz


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