1

The Don Braden Organix Quartet: Luminosity

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
The Don Braden Organix Quartet: Luminosity
Saxophonist Don Braden is all about positivity and sharing the joys of jazz. His ebullient music speaks to his intelligence yet he never falls prey to the jazz-as-intellectual-exercise trap that seems to snare younger musicians and a good amount of his peers. Over the course of his previous albums, Braden's managed to create accessible music built atop the pillars of wit, honesty, swing, and heart. He does it once more on this satisfying date.

The aptly-titled Luminosity finds Braden working with his Organix Quartet, a group that features guitarist Dave Stryker and two of the saxophonist's longtime band mates—organist Kyle Koehler and drummer Cecil Brooks III. Together, these four deliver music that alternately cooks, calms, struts, and soars. There's a funky, Jaco Pastorius-inspired number ("Jive Turkey"), a Herbie Hancock classic that brings alto saxophonist Sherman Irby into the picture ("Driftin'"), a swinging nod to John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" ("Luminosity (First Steps)"), a Brazilian-inflected take on an American songbook favorite featuring guest trumpeter Claudio Roditi ("I Could Write A Book"), and a whole lot more.

Braden shows his tender side when he honors Billy Strayhorn with a solo saxophone performance ("Chelsea Bridge") and when he picks up his alto flute for an original ballad ("Do Love Me Do"), but he never dwells on it. He's just as likely to drop soulful sounds on listeners ("The Time We Shared") or go swinging through a Chick Corea number ("Bud Powell") as he is to take a balladic path. Through it all, Koehler, Brooks, and Stryker are right there with him, regardless of where he goes. All three are highly capable and classy players who deliver the goods without showboating. Brooks swings with assurance, lays down slick grooves when the music calls for it, and works with more subtle sounds when the temperature is dialed down; Koehler creates a supportive harmonic cushion, delivers stable bass lines, and proves to be an appealing soloist; and Stryker brings a certain level of directness to the music with his inimitable cut-to-the-core-of-things guitar voice. Each of those men have their own gifts to offer, but they're all on the same page here with Braden, delivering music that's optimistic, cheerful, and radiant.

Track Listing

Luminosity; Jive Turkey; Bud Powell; Do Love Me Do; The Time We Shared; I Could Write A Book; Chelsea Bridge; Walkin' The Walk; A Whole New World; Driftin'.

Personnel

Don Braden: tenor saxophone, flute, alto flute; Kyle Koehler: Hammond organ; Dave Stryker: guitar; Cecil Brooks III: drums; Claudio Roditi: trumpet (7); Sherman Irby: alto saxophone (10).

Album information

Title: Luminosity | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read How Can We Wake?
How Can We Wake?
Josephine Davies
Read Blue Has A Range
Blue Has A Range
Steve Cardenas
Read Then Now
Then Now
Rob Brown - Matthew Shipp
Read Human Dust Suite
Human Dust Suite
Miki Yamanaka
Read You're It!
You're It!
The Mike Melito/Dino Losito Quartet
Read TEST and Roy Campbell
TEST and Roy Campbell
TEST and Roy Campbell
Read 4K
4K
Modasaurus

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.