David Bixler: In The Face Of Chaos

Dan Bilawsky By

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In The Face Of Chaos marks a re-emergence, if not a complete artistic rebirth, for David Bixler. It serves as a true inspiration, drawing beauty from pain, and peace from personal struggle.

Life took an unexpected turn for the saxophonist's family when his youngest son suffered a traumatic brain injury a number of years ago. With that, logically, came a need to re-evaluate priorities. So, Bixler took a step back and did what any loving parent would do; he focused on his family's needs, putting his creative pursuits on the back burner for much of the past decade. Now, having made a conscious decision to return to the fold, he arrives with a different perspective and a deeper sense of purpose.

Introducing a new quartet featuring pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Ike Sturm and percussionist Rogerio Boccato, Bixler binds the art of understanding with a true appreciation of the unknown. His searches often invite moments of reflection—as on the harmonically-sophisticated balm-of-a-title-track, the ever-developing "Return," and the "Give Me Jesus" closer—but the music isn't purely pensive. There is steadfast determination to found in "nofomomofo," a bouncy belief buoying "Hope," both cool and hot streaks moving across the through-composed body of "Deep Trust," and serious joy emanating from the waltzing "Leap."

Demonstrating both an affinity for the music at hand and a natural bond with one another, Bixler's bandmates prove to be perfectly matched. Cowherd's playing is somehow ruminative and rousing all at once; Sturm is a centered presence keenly balancing strength and spirituality in the weight of his bass; and Boccato maintains a tasteful flow of ideas throughout. In the face of chaos, with Bixler's knowing horn leading the way, wisdom and wonder win out.

Track Listing: In The Face Of Chaos; nofomomofo; Return; Hope; Deep Trust; Leap; Give Me Jesus.

Personnel: David Bixler: alto saxophone; Rogério Boccato: percussion; Jon Cowherd: piano; Ike Sturm: bass.

Title: In The Face Of Chaos | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Red Piano Records

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