Brandon Wright: Boiling Point (2010)
It's never a bad thing when an artist emerges with a collection of more original music than remakes of standards. And when the covers are unique arrangements, or of songs not copied ad nauseam, so much the better, as is the case with saxophonist Brandon Wright's Boiling Point.
Wright, originally from Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, leads his own quartet in the New York City area. He has played with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Chico O'Farrill Latin Big Band, Doc Severinson and Tony Bennett, among others. For his debut release as a leader, Wright is accompanied by trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, pianist Dave Kikoski on piano, bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Matt Wilson.
The rhythm section lays down the groove, setting off "Free Man." Sax and trumpet blend on the melody, doing a brief call-and-response in the bridge. After a second pass, Wright steps out with a spirited solo, followed by Sipiagin and Kikoski. These musicians are clearly having fun with this piece.
"Odd Man Out" begins with Kikoski alone. Wilson and Glawischnig then join in, setting up the leisurely tempo, with Wright and Sipiagin harmonizing on the lead. Wright amps up the power during his solo, while Sipiagin gives the illusion of softening up, but his release is measuredspacing phrases at first and connecting them later. Throughout, Wilson and Glawischnig carry the beat, noting a few points of emphasis.
Sipiagin sits out on the energetic title track, with Wright leading and Wilson throwing in some rim shots and cymbal crashes to help underscore the melody. After the introduction, the tenor takes off on a hard-charging adventure, with Kikoski answering.
Wright composed five of the eight tracks on Boiling Point.
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 saxophone; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet; David Kikoski: piano; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.