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Donny McCaslin: Perpetual Motion (2010)

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Donny McCaslin: Perpetual Motion Track review of "Firefly"

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

Donny McCaslin's Perpetual Motion is an embarrassment of riches, employing a lineup populated by the edgiest, most progressive-thinking jazz musicians currently composing. Alto saxophonist David Binney
David Binney
David Binney
b.1961
saxophone
(who also produces the disc), pianist Uri Caine
Uri Caine
Uri Caine
b.1956
piano
, bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Antonio Sanchez
Antonio Sanchez
Antonio Sanchez
b.1971
drums
have been producing music that has positively expanded jazz music for the past decade. McCaslin has made good company with these artists since hitting his stride on Declaration (Sunnyside, 2009) and Recommended Tools (Greenleaf Music, 2008), and here, this group of musicians are charting jazz's course.

McCaslin's gentle ballad, "Firefly," reveals an amorphous and spiritual direction that draws its soul from Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
b.1933
saxophone
and the second great Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
quintet. The piece is introduced by bassist Lefebvre, whose volume-modulated playing recalls Bill Frisell
Bill Frisell
Bill Frisell
b.1951
guitar
. McCaslin enters plaintively, charting a course of freedom that is assimilated by Sanchez, and Adam Benjamin—whose Fender Rhodes interlude informs a new generation of Miles Davis, pushing the envelope with Chick Corea
Chick Corea
Chick Corea
b.1941
piano
during the Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970) period. McCaslin is soulful throughout this lengthy piece, reaching is R&B best in the coda—very slick and imaginative music.

Personnel: Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Adam Benjamin: Fender Rhodes; Uri Caine: piano; Tim LeFebvre: electric bass; Antonio Sanchez: drums.

Record Label: Greenleaf Music

Style: Modern Jazz


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