David Binney: South (2001)
Soft complex textures trade places with raucous screaming solos. Rich horn arrangements belie the modernity of this recording. The same worn out path or a new direction? Neither. An able and ample continuation of the layered sublimity derived from Miles Davis' late electric period and culminating with John McLaughlin's genius post-bop The Heart of Things.
Musicianship is paramount. Complexity emerges from great orchestration. Catchy hooks and whistle-able humdinger melodies open into freer heart-wrenching loquacious solo sections. Binney and Chris Potter scream and scorch their way through Kenny Garrett-esque frenzy. Adam Rodgers gets to tip his overdrive pedal and Scott Colley and Brian Blade, and sometimes Jim Black, pound like a gale against the tent wall, incessantly driving the ferocious rhythm, exciting and propeling the weaving soloist through a chicanery of brotherhood: transience; a dynamic fraternity of fleeting bedfellows interspersed amongst polyrhythmic peaks.
That's not to say the music is never calm, collected, even calculated. The quieter passages better suit the relatively straight-laced Uri Caine, and also provide a platform for rest and a moment's breath. But it is only for a moment, and we are soon up again kicking in to the next slope, transporting to new musical heights on this leviathan of modern jazz.
Track Listing: 1 Out Beyond Ideas 2 Moment In Memory 3 The Global Soul 4 Leaving The Sea 5 Von Joshua 6 Traveler 7 New York Nature 8 Southpaw 9 The Global Soul (Reprise) 10 Tangles Outcome 11 South
Personnel: David Binney - alto & oprano saxophone; Chris Potter - tenor saxophone; Adam Rodgers - guitars; Uri Caine - piano; Scott Colley - bass; Brian Blade -drums; Jim Black - drums on #5 & #10.
Record Label: ACT Music
Style: Modern Jazz