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While saxophonist/composer David Binney has made a significant contribution to modern jazz with his involvement in the high-octane New York City-based outfit "Lan Xang," amid fine recordings on his "Mythology" label and numerous high profile session dates, the artist has eluded widespread recognition. However, Binney has steadily constructed a budding reputation as a strong composer who possesses a praiseworthy technique whether performing on alto or soprano saxophone. With his latest effort titled South, the saxophonist reaps the good fortunes of an all-star aggregation of solo artists and first call session aces.
On works such as "Out Beyond Ideas" and "Moment In Memory," Binney shines forth as a gifted melody maker who melds blistering and concisely stated notes with an often silken edge. Here and throughout, the leader and tenor saxophonist, Chris Potter makes for a vicious front-line attack as their respective styles offer a bit of contrast and counterpoint to the altogether bustling crosscurrents. The piece titled, "Leaving The Sea" boasts climactic opuses in concert with the saxophonists' rippling notes and soulful discourses in conjunction with guitarist Adam Rogers' fleet-fingered single note leads.Binney and pianist Uri Caine surge forward with zealous aplomb atop drummer Jim Black's propulsive rock/funk pyrotechnics on, "Von Joshua," whereas the band perpetuates stimulating choruses, oscillating rhythms, lush harmonies, and inviting lyricism on "Southpaw."
Overall, there is no hint of filler material or aimless jamming on this wonderfully orchestrated recording, as Binney and co. utilizes space and depth to their advantage. No doubt, the best of both worlds coalesce for a joyful union of spiraling dialogue and tail spinning musicianship. Hence, Binney's potent compositional pen and the ensemble's torrid interplay provide the recipe for one of the year's finest modern jazz-based outings! Highly recommended.