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Saxophonist David Binney's latest release, Welcome to Life, features Chris Potter (tenor saxophone), Craig Taborn (piano), Adam Rogers (guitar), Scott Colley (bass) and Brian Blade (drums). The opening "Soldifolier" is a crisp, open piece where Blade deserves special accolades for his masterful display of unobtrusive styling. "Frez" features Binney, robust, clear, and lyrical. And the supporting cast aptly carries the melody, making the leader's sound all the more fluid and tight.
Meanwhile, "Our Time Together" shifts pace as a soulful ballad that demonstrates Binney is not only capable of swinging in the hard bop tradition, but he's equally comfortable reciting an ethereal musical poem. "California" continues the group's mellow vibe, with Binney, Taborn, and Colley providing the formidable foundation. Airy and fresh, "California" is draped in serenity, albeit with several rock-laced lines by Rogers.
The nine selections of Welcome to Life are glaringly different and interesting melodically. I do wish, however, that Binney had an opportunity to stretch out more. For example, he cooks mercilessly on "Frez," exhibiting a range of passion and musical tenacity that no other track matches. Otherwise, Welcome to Life is a harmonically consistent, fluid venture that demonstrates Binney's alto acumen, particularly his sensibility of surrounding himself with tremendous support.
Track Listing: Soldifolier/ Welcome to Life/ Lisliel/ Frez/ Our Time
Together/ Sintra/ Enchantress/ Ici/ California.
Personnel: David Binney- alto sax; Chris Potter- tenor sax; Craig Tabornpiano;
Adam Rogers- guitar; Scott Colley- bass; Brian Blade- drums.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...