All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

1

The Don Braden Organix Quartet: Luminosity

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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).

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

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Luminosity

Luminosity

Self Produced
2015

buy
Big Funk Live

Big Funk Live

Self Produced
2012

buy
Gentle Storm

Gentle Storm

HighNote Records
2009

buy
Workin'

Workin'

HighNote Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Smart Grid CD/LP/Track Review
Smart Grid
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Monochrome CD/LP/Track Review
Monochrome
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Attitude Manouche CD/LP/Track Review
Attitude Manouche
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Geometry of Caves CD/LP/Track Review
Geometry of Caves
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 16, 2018
Read This World of Dew CD/LP/Track Review
This World of Dew
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Gegenschein CD/LP/Track Review
Gegenschein
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "Penmanship" CD/LP/Track Review Penmanship
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6" CD/LP/Track Review Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The...
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "A Woman's Journey" CD/LP/Track Review A Woman's Journey
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "1538" CD/LP/Track Review 1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "Vessel in Orbit" CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "RFK Stadium 1989 Box" CD/LP/Track Review RFK Stadium 1989 Box
by Doug Collette
Published: December 3, 2017