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Album Review

Binker Golding: Dream Like A Dogwood Wild Boy

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Binker Golding: Dream Like A Dogwood Wild Boy
Acknowledged as one of the top UK saxophonists since the 2010s, Binker Golding established himself as half of the duo Binker and Moses with drummer Moses Boyd. On the same Gearbox Records label, Golding issued his first solo album Abstractions of Reality Past & Incredible Feathers in 2019. A departure from the uninhibited free improvisation and lashing dance rhythms that Binker and Moses are known for, Abstractions... featured a less raw, sophisticated hard bop vibe. Golding's latest, Dream Like a Dogwood Wild Boy is yet another departure from his previous projects.

Dream Like a Dogwood Wild Boy has some specific inspirations from Golding's personal relationships and life-altering events that drew him to reflection. Though significant tragedy informs some of Golding's work here, the sentiment is not overtly carried into the music, which overall is upbeat. There is considerable depth to the stylistic ground covered by Dream Like a Dogwood Wild Boy.

Golding slots in plenty of time for the fine guitar work of Billy Adamson and Sarah Tandy's piano. Tandy's excellent debut, Infection In The Sentence (Jazz Re:freshed, 2019) featured a pair of contributions from Golding. Adamson opens the folkloric-turned-groove "Wide Open Lows" with a touch of Americana. His guitar again leads in, this time with a bluesy twang on "Love Me Like a Woman," but in this case, the music takes a harder rock edge with electric guitar dominating the piece. "My Two Dads" features a buoyant spiritual vibe and an excellent rollicking piano solo from Tandy. "Howling and Drinking in God's Own Country" is the standout centerpiece on Dream Like a Dogwood Wild Boy. The interplay between Golding and Tandy is fiery, intricate, and engaging. In the album's late-stage, things get a bit more conventional. "With What I Know" borders on pop fusion, as does the closing number, "All Out of Fairy Tales," which plays precariously close to smooth jazz.

Golding's solo work to date has presented the saxophonist/composer as an alter ego of his presence with Boyd. He writes that Dream Like a Dogwood Wild Boy reflects his thoughts on maturing, "finding strength and doing things better." He acknowledges that such personal feelings are difficult to translate through instrumental music and it doesn't appear that he focused on an obvious link. As Golding continues to explore the genre, he has made clear that he is willing and able to dip into a broad palette of styles as he does here.

Track Listing

(Take Me to The) Wide Open Lows; Love Me Like A Woman; My Two Dads; Drinking In God’s Own Country; ‘Til My Heart Stops; With What I Know Now; All Out Of Fairy Tales.

Personnel

Binker Golding: saxophone, tenor; Sarah Tandy: piano; Billy Adamson: guitar; Daniel Casimir: bass.

Additional Instrumentation

Sam Jones: drums.

Album information

Title: Dream Like A Dogwood Wild Boy | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Gearbox Records

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