Donny McCaslin: Recommended Tools (2008)
In spite of all this cleverness, however, the flow never feels forced or formulaic. On "The Champion" (a tribute to Hermeto Pascoal), "Margins of Solitude" and "Fast Brazil" (a remake of of his earlier big band version found on In Pursuit), the saxophonist plays astounding solos that seamlessly blend harmonic complexity with lyric ingenuity. Even the Martian-esque "2nd Hour Revisited," based on a twelve-tone concept, suggests an inherent logic and ends holistically.
On Sep. 30, sporting a fashionably faded Selmer sax, bassist Rick Rodriguez and drummer Ted Poor joined McCaslin at New York's Jazz Standard to celebrate the new release. From the opening fusillade of "3 Signs" to the soulful Americana of "Late Night Gospel," the subtly shaded bop of the title track, a pared down "Margins of Solitude" and finishing with an ebullient "Fast Brazil," McCaslin was consistently excellent. Rodriguez's trebled tone and middle-of-the-beat assurance alongside Poor's melodramatic minimalism, astutely highlighted throughout, were effective complements to the leader's fervid blowing.
Track Listing: Recommended Tools; Eventual; Late Night Gospel; Excursion; Isfahan; The Champion; Margins of Solitude; 3 Signs; 2nd Hour Revisited; Fast Brazil.
Personnel: Donny McCaslin: tenor sax; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Johnathan Blake: drums.
Record Label: Greenleaf Music
Style: Modern Jazz