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David Bindman Sextet: Ten Billion Versions of Reality

Karl Ackermann By

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Saxophonist David Bindman reconvenes the ensemble that created Sunset Park Polyphony (Self Produced, 2012) for the eclectic Ten Billion Versions of Reality. Bindman had spent parts of two recent years in the upstate New York town of Cambridge, developing a suite that is meant to weave together varying perspectives across multiple sound surfaces. The title, in part, refers to emotions and the sense of awareness shared by individuals and across species.

Bindman has worked with Wadada Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton among others and co-led the Brooklyn Sax Quartet with Fred Ho for more than a decade. Bassist Wes Brown is a multi-instrumentalist, proficient on piano and percussion. He has performed with Ed Blackwell and a wide array of global artists. Pianist/composer Art Hirahara served as a Jazz Ambassador touring the Middle East and he has performed with Akira Tana and Rufus Reid. Trumpet/composer Frank London is a member of the Klezmatics and has performed or recorded with a diverse group that includes John Zorn, LL Cool J, Lester Bowie, They Might Be Giants, and David Byrne. Israeli-born trombonist Reut Regev has worked in jazz, Latin, klezmer, rock and blues. She led her own quintet on the highly regarded This is R Time (Ropeadope, 2009). Percussionist Royal Hartigan is also a pianist, tap dancer, author and academic. His quartet, Blood Drum Spirit, released a trilogy of albums that included most of Bindman's sextet, Regev and London being the exceptions.

"Sketch in 12" opens in geometric shapes that soften and morph into waves of concurrent, contrasting rhythms. Brown is featured in a solo on "Spring Song," a ballad-like melody but with the underlying forces of a three-dimensional soundscape. "Refuge" could be a suite within a suite. Horns fluttering in layers, occasionally crossing the same plane, while Hirahara rains down notes from above. Early on, in this twelve-minute piece, Hirahara, Brown and Haritgan breakaway as a trio before Bindman joins followed by Regev and London. Hartigan has a particularly satisfying extended solo, later drawing in the rest of the ensemble for the close. "Through the Clouds" and "Questions for Lucy" share the characteristics of numerous and complex melodies and unpredictable pacing; both of the closing compositions are intriguing in their sense of movement.

Ten Billion Versions of Reality is best taken as a whole because overtime, and through each of these movements, an imagery develops and becomes clear. The suite is an energetic, spacious, and complicated work of music that seems to change with successive encounters. Bindman and his ensemble work excessively well in these complex environments.

Track Listing: Sketch in 12; Spring Song; Refuge; Ten Billion Versions of Reality; Ashgrove; Through the Clouds; Questions for Lucy.

Personnel: David Bindman: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Wes Brown: contrabass; Art Hirahara: piano; Royal Hartigan: drums; Frank London: trumpet, flugelhorn; Reut Regev: trombone.

Title: Ten Billion Versions of Reality | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

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