Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Artist: Donny McCaslin
CD: Declaration (SSC 1218)
Musicians: Donny McCaslin (tenor saxophone, alto flute); Edward Simon (piano); Ben Monder (guitar); Scott Coley (bass); Antonio Sanchez (drums);with Alex Sipiagin (flugelhorn); Chris Komer (French horn); Marshall Gilkes (trombone); Marcus Rojas (tuba)
Recorded: Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY January & February 2009
Composer : Donny McCaslin
Donny McCaslin, is an alumnus of the Maria Schneider orchestra, The Mingus Big Band and trumpeter Dave Douglas’s quintet as well as other progressive groups. A versatile musician with a unique, edgy voice, he has acquired his own sense of composition and orchestration.
On “Declaration”, McCaslin’s compositional mettle is revealed. He utilizes a format that includes a brass section of flugelhorn, French horn, trombone and tuba to compliment and extend the range of sounds he employs with his quintet. McCaslin declares the main theme with his sharp-edged saxophone. He plays the melodic prayer-like sentiment behind the processional sounds of his brass section. It is hard to discern precisely what kind of declaration McCaslin is making here, but the composition successfully projects a spiritual sense of reverence and enlightenment.
Simon, Monder, Colley and Sanchez create an airy, cloud-like atmosphere upon which McCaslin’s horn can expand his proclamation. He does so with the carefully placed low register notes and an excellent use of space and time that validate a searching sincerity in his statements. McCaslin builds intensity by creating crescendos of sounds- at times purposefully shrieking- that he builds in a passionate display to a high register apex. The brass section re-enters for the reverential reprise as McCaslin restates the theme until it closes with a soft refrain of gentle piano and fading brass. With “Declaration” McCaslin presents a complex and subtly different offering from this high-powered saxophonist’s usual fare.
Links to archived jazz related interviews and articles
- Herb Geller &Italian Pianist Roberto Magris at Novi Sad Festival, Serbia 2009
- Reunion Islander Meddy Gerville at Martinique JAzz Festival 2010
- Pianist Dave Frank's Master Class on Charlie Parker
- Pianist's Jack Reilly's New Video of "Caroline" from his "Innocence" CD
- Lee Konitz w/Mark Turner et al Live at the Iridium
- Review of Laurence Hobgood with Kurt Elling at Smalls Jazz Club Sept 7, 2009
- Ron Horton/Tim Horner Little Big Band in Teaneck, NJ
- Joshua Redman's Double Trio at The Highline Ballroom
- Ben Allison's Man Sized Safe Plays in Brooklyn
- Sonny Fortune Live at The Greenwich Library
- Interview with Jimmy Cobb
- Interview with Pianist Jack Reilly