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Saxophonist Brandon Wright has spent the last few years making a name for himself on the New York jazz scene as both a sideman and bandleader. Since graduating from the University of Miami, the New Jersey native has performed with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and, most recently, has been touring with trumpeter Chuck Mangione. For Boiling Point, his debut as a leader, Wright teams-up with trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, pianist David Kikoski, bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Matt Wilson for a hard blowing set of swinging originals and familiar standards.
The disc gets off to a no-nonsense, straight-ahead start with Wright's "Free Man," a catchy minor blues with an imaginative solo turn from the thick-toned tenor man. Indeed, Wright's big sound and technical precision enable him to deliver fresh, creative lines on his other boisterous compositions "Drift," "Odd Man Out" and "Castaway." Throughout the recording, Wright demonstrates an understanding of stylistic sensitivity, moving gracefully from an aggressive, no-holds-barred approach on his raucous title track to the tender, lyrical rendering of "Here's That Rainy Day."
Sipiagin shares front line duty with an equally free-wheeling approach, blowing trumpet solos that are at once conscious of traditional and progressive music. Kikoski's energetic soloing and punchy piano comping serves the music well. With taste and a deft touch, the pianist lives up to his acclaimed reputation as a first-rate sideman. The rock-solid support of Glawischnig and Wilson add fervor to this dynamic debut full of engaging sounds.
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.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.