262

David Binney / Alan Ferber: In the Paint

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
David Binney / Alan Ferber: In the Paint With an influence felt, perhaps, as much or more in the work of others than in his own record sales, alto saxophonist David Binney rarely co-leads groups, but his longstanding collaboration with pianist Edward Simon has been fruitful in more ways than one. Sharing compositional and conceptual duties frees him to focus more on his playing, and that's always a good thing, as Binney's innovative writing has sometimes overshadowed the fact that he's also a damn fine performer. Co-leading brings even greater breadth to the table, making In the Paint—a first-time shared leadership with trombonist Alan Ferber—another inspired pairing.

Nearly 15 years Binney's younger, Ferber has been increasingly in the public eye on guitarist Charlie Hunter's succinct Gentlemen, I Neglected to Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid (Spire, 2010), bassist Todd Sickafoose's remarkable Tiny Resistors (Cryptogramophone, 2008) and percussionist/composer John Hollenbeck's equally outstanding Eternal Interlude (Sunnyside, 2009). He also guested on Binney's last album with Simon, Océanos (Criss Cross, 2007), but with In the Paint his voice is more definitive—splitting compositional duties with Binney nearly down the middle, alongside an uncovered gem and three freely improvised alto/trombone duets that demonstrate the leaders' shared propensity for pulling surprising form from the ether.

Despite being instantly recognizable, Binney's writing remains fresh and unpredictable. With a septet also featuring the twin-chordal attack of pianist John Escreet and vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, and a rhythm section powered by bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Gerald Cleaver, the opening "Growin' Up" combines mixed meters and unhurried motivic development, built around unison lines that give way to knotty counterpoint, creating a propulsive, mid-tempo context for Binney's needle-threading solo. Ferber's title track is equally intricate, a syncopated bass line doubled by Escreet underpinning warm voicings and an equally unhurried melody that sets up an exhilarating alto solo that reaches comfortably into the horn's upper register before Ferber takes over, his burnished tone possessing a hint of grit as he lithely winds his way through the changes.

Cleaver and Morgan swing with gentle authority on Binney's "Everybody's Wonderland," shifting seamlessly between 5/8 and 6/8, while Escreet takes a lengthy solo that confirms his status as another young player to watch. Schlamb, another up-and-comer, delivers an ethereal solo, filled with cascading lines, on Binney's "Paris," where darker colors support its serpentine melody. Unencumbered by preconception, Binney and Ferber engage on three spontaneous miniatures: the vivacious "Interlude I"; sparer "Interlude II"; and "Interlude III," where the two orbit around each other, occasionally intersecting. "Lautir"—by the perennially overlooked woodwind multi-instrumentalist Makanda Ken McIntyre, best-known for his work with Eric Dolphy and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra—becomes a brief feature for Cleaver.

Binney and Ferber's shared appreciation for complex yet eminently accessible writing—performed by an ensemble rich in texture and a simmering rather than steaming approach—makes In the Paint a captivating listen. A strong addition to Binney's discography, it's also clear notice that Ferber is an artist to watch beyond his inestimable appearances as a sideman.


Track Listing: Growin' Up; In the Paint; Everybody's Wonderland; Interlude I; Paris; Edinburgh; Icecave; Interlude II; La Taqueria; Magnolia; Lautir; Interlude III; Our Inventions.

Personnel: David Binney: alto saxophone; Alan Ferber: trombone; John Escreet: piano; Peter Schlamb: vibes; Thomas Morgan: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Chris Potter Chris Potter
reeds
Dave Douglas Dave Douglas
trumpet
Enrico Rava Enrico Rava
trumpet
Brian Blade Brian Blade
drums
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman
saxophone
Dave Liebman Dave Liebman
saxophone
Branford Marsalis Branford Marsalis
saxophone
Mark Turner Mark Turner
sax, tenor
Donny McCaslin Donny McCaslin
saxophone

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Eastern Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Eastern Smiles
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "TriAngular Bent" CD/LP/Track Review TriAngular Bent
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Dick's Picks Volume Two: Columbus, Ohio 10/31/1971" CD/LP/Track Review Dick's Picks Volume Two: Columbus, Ohio 10/31/1971
by Doug Collette
Published: February 27, 2016
Read "Real Feels - Live Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Real Feels - Live Vol. 1
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!