22

Anthony Branker & Imagine: Beauty Within

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Anthony Branker & Imagine: Beauty Within
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.

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.