236

Donny McCaslin Trio: Recommended Tools

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Donny McCaslin Trio: Recommended Tools Tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin debuts on Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music label with Recommended Tools. McCaslin shows his world-class cojones by heading a tenor trio with bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Jonathan Blake. The recording is produced by David Binney, no saxophone slouch himself, and executive produced by Douglas, who asked McCaslin to "write and record the great American tenor record."

Recommended Tools follows the path of other auspicious tenor offerings. In 1956, Sonny Rollins recorded with his first tenor trio that included bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne, resulting in Way Out West (Contemporary/OJC, 1957).

A year later, Rollins returned to the trio again for A Night at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1957) and then with The Freedom Suite (Riverside, 1958).

But Rollins was not the only tenorist to predate McCaslin in a trio setting. Joe Henderson followed Rollins to the Village Vanguard (almost 30 years later) with The State of the Tenor (Blue Note, 1985). All of these recordings prove the durability of the format and Donny McCaslin steps in to attempt to expand the tenor trio palette.

McCaslin's contribution takes a freer more untethered approach. The title piece finds McCaslin soaring over the Glawischnig/Blake rhythm section. His tenor figure is circuitous, difficult to aurally tease from his soloing (perhaps that is the point). The entire trio shines right out of the gate, giving the listener a famous idea of what to expect.

"Eventual" possesses a precise head and time signature that transforms through several moods, including a driving rock rhythm led by two notes from the saxophonist. McCaslin does not ignore ballads, turning in two excellent examples with his own "Late Night Gospel" and Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan," the latter perfectly rendered without piano or guitar support. McCaslin's mettle in a trio environment is soundly tested here and his response is definitively polished and pliant.

Recommended Tools shows Donny McCaslin continuing his arc with no plateau in sight. The tenor trio is a daring undertaking where the saxophonist experiences maximum exposure. It is also a format that requires much from the rhythm section and Hans Glawischnig and Jonathan Blake prove uniquely potent in their role. Let's hope that Donny McCaslin never plays it safe.


Track Listing: Recommended Tools; Eventual; Late Night Gospel; Excursion; Isfahan; Champion, The; Margins Of Solitude; 3 Signs; 2nd Hour Revisited; Fast Brazil.

Personnel: Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Johnathan Blake: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Greenleaf Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

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 June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Oblivion: The Music of Bud Powell" CD/LP/Track Review Oblivion: The Music of Bud Powell
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "No White Shoes" CD/LP/Track Review No White Shoes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Brasil L.I.K.E" CD/LP/Track Review Brasil L.I.K.E
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "The Ray Davies Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review The Ray Davies Songbook
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 2, 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!