Incorporating electronic instrumentation into his palette, tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin dishes out a thrusting program that could, to some extent, be nestled within the jazz-fusion genre, but not in the traditional sense. The hard-hitting saxophonist and his band integrate fusion mechanics and spacey treatments to underscore many of the popping grooves, thundering pulses, knotty time signatures and progressive-jazz type soloing exchanges with keyboardist Jason Lindner. But McCaslin doesn't engage technical gymnastics or complexities simply for the sake of it.
It's a high-impact and polytonal program, tinted with razor-sharp detours, pummeling rhythms, and airy interludes. One of the standout tracks is "Tension," where McCaslin's echo-laden and interstellar, ostinato sax parts ride above electric bassist Tim Lefebvre's pumping lines and drummer Mark Guiliana's snappy beats.
Gravitational pull and a host of accenting electronics shade a peppery vibe, outlined by the artists' frisky interplay and oddball eccentricities. They alternate soundscapes with a loose-groove impetus and employ a few programmatic sequences into a piece that spawns a multitude of moving parts. Trippy, aggressive and uncannily cohesive, Casting for Gravity is an impressive offering by one of the modern era's extraordinary jazz prophets.
Track Listing: Stadium Jazz; Says Who; Losing Track Of Daytime; Alpha And Omega; Tension; Praia Grande;
Love Song For An Echo; Casting For Gravity; Bend; Henry.
Personnel: Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Jason Lindner: electric piano, acoustic piano, synthesizers;
Tim Lefebvre: electric bass; Mark Guiliana: drums.
There is a freedom and a sense of exhilaration in Jazz that is not found in any other music. Jazz is about finding freedom and a personal voice within a structure, and that is what
appeals to me most. I had a late start in jazz.
I was first exposed to jazz without any formal training by watching videos of Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk in my 20's.
Later, I met Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Werner, Chick Corea, Martial Solal, Bernard Maury, Fred Hersh, Barry Harris, among many other musicians over the years.
The first jazz record I
bought was Keith Jarrett, The Melody at Night, with You and it is still one of the solo piano masterpiece in my view.
My advice to new listeners... Just enjoy it!
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