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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.
Personnel: Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Jason Lindner: electric piano, acoustic piano, synthesizers;Tim Lefebvre: electric bass; Mark Guiliana: drums.