All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

22

Anthony Branker & Imagine: Beauty Within

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The "Rising Star" status isn't confined to fresh music school graduates. Dr. Anthony Branker, Educator—who, for twenty-seven years, was engaged in a big way with Princeton University's jazz program—has achieved a recent "rising star" tag as a composer. This after releasing seven top notch CDs for Origin Records, including the masterful Uppity (2013).

"Composer/Musical Director" is Branker's title on his recordings. He doesn't play, but rather molds the sounds of several different small group jazz collectives. On Beauty Within, it's Anthony Branker & Imagine, a quintet with a piano/guitar-centered rhythm section and a saxophone. His vision is a that of a distinctive and often edgy modern jazz, sometimes propulsive, sometimes circuitous.

Opening with "Joy," an initially jagged tune imbued with a David Binney-like intensity and forward momentum tune, featuring the impassioned tenor saxophone of Ralph Bowen and a luminous backdrop made of the melding of Fabian Almazan's piano and Pete McCann's soaring guitar. The title tune—introduced by Linda May Han Oh's inspire bass solo—has a gliding, empyreal mood, initially a showcase for the collective, that gives away to a sublime, full-of-surprises piano solo from Almanzan.

"Loving Day (June 12)" opens a door to a mystery world, with a beautiful murkiness; and at this point a connection to the 1960s Blue Note sound creeps in; and not the more straight ahead of those efforts, but more to the style of Herbie Hancock's more adventurous side, or Andrew Hill's marvelous and under-appreciated output.

Drummer Rudy Royston has to mentioned for his oblique and emphatic contribution throughout, giving a consistence elevation of to this unpredictable and thoroughly modern sound of Antony Branker.

Track Listing: Joy; Beauty Within; Loving Day (June 12); Prelude To Wisdom: (We Are) What We Are Not Yet; Many Roads Beneath the Sky; Grace; People Everywhere; (God's) Wisdom.

Personnel: Ralph Bowen: tenor and soprano saxophones; Pete McCann: guitar; Fabian Almazar: piano; Linda Oh: bass; Rudy Royston: drums; Anthony Branker: composer and musical director.

Title: Beauty Within | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Unity

Unity

Anthony Branker
Together

Ancestral Tales

Ancestral Tales

Anthony Branker
Dialogic

Ascent

Ascent

Anthony Branker
Blessings

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Beauty Within

Beauty Within

Origin Records
2016

buy
The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite

The Forward (Towards...

Origin Records
2014

buy
Uppity

Uppity

Origin Records
2013

buy
Dance Music

Dance Music

Origin Records
2011

buy
Blessings

Blessings

Origin Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Rendering" CD/LP/Track Review Rendering
by Mark Christian Miller
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Nighthawks" CD/LP/Track Review Nighthawks
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Wherever You're Starting From" CD/LP/Track Review Wherever You're Starting From
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 8, 2018
Read "Origins" CD/LP/Track Review Origins
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 11, 2018
Read "Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House" CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Seraphic Light [Live At Tufts University]" CD/LP/Track Review Seraphic Light [Live At Tufts University]
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 5, 2018