200

Brandon Wright: Boiling Point

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Brandon Wright: Boiling Point The appeal of saxophonist, Brandon Wright comes fast, bearing a rather lyrical swagger. This young tenor player shows plenty of confidence—even cockiness—and a mature attitude on Boiling Point. Wright has a full, round tone and a forthright attack; his fingering is deft, almost like a stage magician, and it bodes with it a whispering glissando in the dying elements of his phrases and notes. His solos are full of bright ideas and flow full and free, billowing in gentle gusts of breezy air expelled from pliant lungs. They grow vertically, spiraling upwards with elegant power, twirling around his peers, especially trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, who sometimes answers in a contrapuntal fashion. Then, of the down-stroke Wright employs, a double helix-like free-fall occurs, as he soft-lands on the beautiful melodies he creates/interprets.

Wright's compositions are modal in nature, forcing the ensemble to sometimes echo the middle period of John Coltrane, where he was extremely garrulous in the company of Wynton Kelly and McCoy Tyner, and the arpeggios were incessant and full of dynamic tension. However, Wright is his own man as well and sounds less like 'Trane than imagined. If ancestry is being sought, then he has descended from a melting pot that includes more Wayne Shorter than 'Trane. Still his voice is distinctive. The breathtaking pace of "Free Man" is followed by the more thoughtful, almost languorous "Drift." "Odd Man Out" is bewitching and tricky, both harmonically and rhythmically. "Castaway" returns to a mysterious melody, indicating that Wright somewhat favors the more magical elements of sound rather than the logical, mathematical notation of music, for here he bends notes and makes them twist and turn as he plays with tone and textures; this is such a thrill to the ear.

Of the standards fare offered, "Here's That Rainy Day" is soaked in emotion, and is a ballad par excellence. The softness of this performance is distinctly vocal, and almost conjures up the spirit of someone like Sarah Vaughan as Wright's heartrending melody unfolds. "Interstate Love Song" negotiates its elegiac content with mature expertise, as the song swings gently between waltz-time and a quickstep. "You Are My Everything" is another masterfully melodic sashay from a musician who combines the best sense of lyricism and romance of music, altogether eschewing crass sentimentality.

Part of the reason Wright blows with heartfelt abandon is that he is accompanied on his tuneful journey by a fine group of musicians—cohorts from regular working bands like the Mingus Big Band, Maria Schneider Orchestra and Fred Wesley. Hans Glawischnig is majestic and melodic, dancing all over the songs' bass lines. Pianist David Kikoski is firm and sinewy, but expresses himself with feline grace. And Matt Wilson listens as carefully as a musician singing in harmony with a lead voice. Based on the musical evidence here, much more will be expected from Wright, and soon.


Track Listing: Free Man; Drift; 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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Miles Davis Miles Davis
trumpet
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Kenny Garrett Kenny Garrett
sax, alto
Freddie Hubbard Freddie Hubbard
trumpet
Joe Lovano Joe Lovano
saxophone
Ron Carter Ron Carter
bass
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
saxophone
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
saxophone
Johnny Griffin Johnny Griffin
sax, tenor

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Naija Rhythm Affair, NYC" CD/LP/Track Review Naija Rhythm Affair, NYC
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "Supernovae" CD/LP/Track Review Supernovae
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Instants Of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Instants Of Time
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Tropical Infinito" CD/LP/Track Review Tropical Infinito
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Our Second Set" CD/LP/Track Review Our Second Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!