211

Donny McCaslin: Perpetual Motion

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Donny McCaslin: Perpetual Motion Each new record from tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin is cause for celebration. With each album, McCaslin has put himself in the middle of a different instrumental configuration, challenging the saxophonist to reach new heights, and Perpetual Motion is no different. Now that he has proven his mettle on the piano-less trio battleground with Recommended Tools (Greenleaf, 2008), and demonstrated his significant arranging abilities with Declaration (Sunnyside, 2009), McCaslin moves on to a roiling locale with electric undercurrents.

The music on Perpetual Motion moves easily from turbulent tantrums to slick grooves, and McCaslin is nothing short of exceptional throughout. His playfully fluid and rhythmically vibrant runs over Antonio Sanchez's drums on "Claire" show off one side of his personality, but that merely scratches the surface. McCaslin also covers funky terrain on "Memphis Redux"; takes part in what can only be described as an intergalactic hymn-turned-soul burner on"Firefly"; and works his way over turbulent rhythmic terrain in a variety of manners.

While McCaslin deserves the majority of the credit for this music, Sanchez and pianist Adam Benjamin deserve honorable mentions. Benjamin conjures all manner of sounds from his Fender Rhodes, helping to lay the backdrop for each piece along the way. He rocks out when it counts, on "L.Z.C.M.," and moves from spacey sounds to organ-like swells with ease. Sanchez does more with four limbs than most people would be able to do with eight. While he can lay down a groove like nobody's business ("Memphis Redux"), his greater gifts come on the early tracks, when he has free rein to continually reshape the music from the bottom.

While eight of the ten numbers are complete representations of McCaslin's work, two oddities pop up at the end of the album. "East Bay Grit," a thirty-second track that sounds like the saxophonist's take on a dance groove, seems a bit superfluous, while For Someone," Uri Caine's gorgeous solo piano piece, is a bit out of place as an album closer on a saxophone-led session with an electric vibe.

Fortunately, neither of these minor gripes has any impact on the big picture. McCaslin's brawny-meets-brainy approach continues to drive his music, and his restless spirit has helped to create another unique, enduring monument to his artistry.


Track Listing: Five Hands Down; Perpetual Motion; Claire; Firefly; Energy Generation; Memphis Redux; L.Z.C.M.; East Bay Grit; Impossible Machine; For Someone.

Personnel: Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Adam Benjamin: Fender Rhodes and piano (1-7, 9); Tim Lefebvre: electric bass; Antonio Sanchez: drums (1-5); Mark Giuliana: drums (6-9); Uri Caine: piano (4, 8, 10), fender rhodes (8): David Binney: electronics, alto saxophone (9).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Greenleaf Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Revolution Before Lunch" CD/LP/Track Review Revolution Before Lunch
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 2, 2016
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Plays New Zealand" CD/LP/Track Review Plays New Zealand
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Suite Três Rios" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Três Rios
by Paul Naser
Published: July 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!