8

Donny McCaslin: Blow

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Donny McCaslin: Blow
At first listen, Blow sounds more like a rock album than a jazz one. The catchy "What About The Body" could arguably be mistaken for one of King Crimson's more vituperative numbers featuring Adrian Belew. Ryan Dahle's emotionally-charged vocals are equally at the forefront of the explosive "Club Kidd." But the selection also includes three instrumental tracks too, such as the grungy, anthemic "Break The Bond," the polyrhythmic "Beast," and "Exactlyfourminutesofimprovisedmusic" (which speaks for itself) all underpinned by Tim Lefebvre's pulsating bass lines.

This is way different from McCaslin's previous albums Beyond Now ( Motéma Music, 2016), which exuded a ruminative quality, or its impressive predecessor Fast Future (Greenleaf, 2015). Then of course there was the 2016 paradigm shift that was David Bowie's Blackstar, which almost overnight transformed McCaslin from an imaginative and well-respected New York jazz saxophonist and composer into an internationally renowned musician, partly due to its principal's death two days after its release but also because his contribution helped make Bowie's swan song one of his best and certainly most poignant albums.

The darkly melodramatic "Tiny Kingdom" offers semblances of Jim Morrison or even Bowie, whilst the airy pop-ish vocal harmonies on "Great Destroyer" channel R.E.M. or even, at a pinch, the Beach Boys. On "The Opener," featuring Mark Kozelek's (from Sun Kil Moon) spoken vocals, the hypnotic music and narrative are complemented by Kozelek's engaging voice. The closer, "Eye Of The Beholder" features sultry vocals by fellow Bowie collaborator Gail Ann Dorsey and is unequivocally beautiful; arguably, the album's masterstroke.

Track Listing

What About The Body; Club Kidd; Break The Bond; New Kindness; Exactlyfourminutesofimprovisedmusic; Tiny Kingdom; Great Destroyer; The Opener (Featuring Sun Kil Moon); Beast; Tempest; Eye Of The Beholder.

Personnel

Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Ryan Dahle, Jeff Taylor, Gail Ann Dorsey: vocals; Jason Lindner: synths, piano; Tim Lefebvre: electric bass; Mark Guiliana, Zach Danziger: drums, programming.

Album information

Title: Blow | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Motéma Music

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read 25 Years
25 Years
Edward Simon
Read Splatter
Splatter
Roscoe Mitchell
Read Then Now
Then Now
Matthew Shipp / Rob Brown
Read Free Hoops
Free Hoops
Sylvie Courvoisier Trio
Read A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park
Jerry Cook Quartet +
Read New Aurora
New Aurora
Michael Sarian

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.