Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

262

David Binney / Alan Ferber: In the Paint

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: In the Paint | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn" CD/LP/Track Review Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Jerry D'Souza
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Ranky Tanky" CD/LP/Track Review Ranky Tanky
by James Nadal
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Kalamazoo" CD/LP/Track Review Kalamazoo
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "The Long Journey Home" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Journey Home
by James Nadal
Published: March 17, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor