David Binney turns the impressions of various cities that he has cast in his mind's eye into thirteen tunes that showcase nine cities, with four of them getting an "Intro. Binney frames his vision on Cities and Desire with a broad and focussed view, both as a composer and as a player. His playing captures the spirit in the directness of his approach, his navigation through ideas, and his fulfillment of the experience.
Binney's writing encapsulates the colour each city exudes, from a calm translucence to a whirling bustle. "London captures those attributes quite nicely, indeed as Binney waltzes in with some Old World charm, his gait unhurried. Along the way he envisages quick changes; nothing is static. His view is complemented by Mark Turner's tenor saxophone, even if the view he adopts is darker.
For Binney, "Montreal is apparently an effervescent city. The excitement kicks off on bass and drums with Binney essaying an eloquent melody, stretching the notes on the alto saxophone. Turner turns it around to a bop groove, hitting hard on a potent forge. The two horns of invention pulsate and throb, and when they are locked in dialogue, the encounter becomes highly spirited.
A tangent comes with "Miami, a ballad with a light tone, lyrical melody and magical results. The "Intro to "Toronto springs a delightful surprise. Dan Weiss' understanding of the sonorities of the tabla leads him to shade the tonalities of the rhythmic cycles effectively. Craig Taborn's piano work keeps the mood glowing. His initial approach finds him choosing notes in specious rumination, and then he takes off on a run that harmonizes the structure with exquisite detail, leaving it to Turner to get ferocious and uppity and book-end the tune just right.
Binney turns in yet another compelling portrait with Cities and Desire, justifying his place as a musician of the first parallel.
Personnel: David Binney: alto saxophone; Mark turner: tenor saxophone; Craig Taborn: piano; Thomas
Morgan: bass; Dan Weiss: drums.