516

Donny McCaslin: Recommended Tools

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count
Donny McCaslin: Recommended Tools Recommended Tools, saxophonist Donny McCaslin's seventh session as a leader and his first for Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music, follows in the tenor trio tradition of Sonny Rollins' A Night at the Village Vanguard and Joe Henderson's The State of the Tenor. Going chordless, without the safety-net of a comping instrument, gives the frontline instrumentalist more latitude to take it out, but also creates additional pressure to establish and develop an improvisational narrative—a task that McCaslin proves well up to. Featuring original compositions (plus a cover of Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan"), with bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Johnathan Blake, Tools leaves ample sonic space for McCaslin's "stories." Immediately evident is his encyclopedic knowledge of scales and intervals, a mastery that allows him to permutate and transmogrify these rudiments with ease, each idea an organic outgrowth of the previous one.

In spite of all this cleverness, however, the flow never feels forced or formulaic. On "The Champion" (a tribute to Hermeto Pascoal), "Margins of Solitude" and "Fast Brazil" (a remake of of his earlier big band version found on In Pursuit), the saxophonist plays astounding solos that seamlessly blend harmonic complexity with lyric ingenuity. Even the Martian-esque "2nd Hour Revisited," based on a twelve-tone concept, suggests an inherent logic and ends holistically.

On Sep. 30, sporting a fashionably faded Selmer sax, bassist Rick Rodriguez and drummer Ted Poor joined McCaslin at New York's Jazz Standard to celebrate the new release. From the opening fusillade of "3 Signs" to the soulful Americana of "Late Night Gospel," the subtly shaded bop of the title track, a pared down "Margins of Solitude" and finishing with an ebullient "Fast Brazil," McCaslin was consistently excellent. Rodriguez's trebled tone and middle-of-the-beat assurance alongside Poor's melodramatic minimalism, astutely highlighted throughout, were effective complements to the leader's fervid blowing.


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

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

Year Released: 2008 | 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 "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "It's Time" CD/LP/Track Review It's Time
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Projeto Brasil!" CD/LP/Track Review Projeto Brasil!
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 27, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Forty" CD/LP/Track Review Forty
by James Nadal
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Leap Of Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Leap Of Faith
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 26, 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!