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Jazz - Released January 16, 2001 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released January 18, 2011 | Mythology Records

On some level, saxophonist, composer, and arranger David Binney's Graylen Epicenter is a restless extension of the three previous recordings he's issued on his Mythology imprint. That said, it is also his most relentlessly ambitious, with his largest cast ever. Vocalist Gretchen Parlato appears on most of these cuts as another instrument in Binney's tonal and harmonic arsenal, as she sings wordlessly a great deal here. Binney's alto and soprano is also assisted by bassist Eivind Opsvik, guitarist Wayne Krantz, pianist Craig Taborn, percussionist Kenny Wollesen, drummer Brain Blade (who appears on all but one cut here, where Dan Weiss holds the chair, and both drummers play simultaneously on nearly half the album). Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and tenor saxophonist Chris Potter lend considerably to the diverse, intoxicating meld of textures and atmospheres found here. Opener "All of Time" is a relentless sprint that features a killer drum solo by both drummers. The title track, with a knotty percussion and piano vamp and an elegant, three-horn counter melody, give way to Krantz on electric guitar; he plays languidly at first, allowing his notes to fall right into Blade's fills before moving toward the blues even as the horns continue their leisurely, melodic restatement before they, too, move into warmly abstract space. Taborn's deft, imaginative soloing on "Equality at All Levels" is matched only by the one he provides on the opener. On "Terrorists and Movie Stars" he builds solid, large-scale, block chord foundations for Binney and Potter to move off road and go straight at one another with abandon. Parlato's vocal on "Home" commences as an aching, restrained paean to longing. Taborn's piano gives her just enough support, laying out sparse chords that provide a gateway for her to gradually emerge from the shadow of her lyrics and into purely and poetically expressive vocalizing. Blade's sublime cymbal work offers a gentle pulse that creates a shelf under her, before Binney's alto enters to twin with her soaring voice. The emotion and musicality match tenderness to the transcendent. "Waking to Waves" with Nina Geiger's harmony vocal, slips from the gate as a a quiet abstraction, but becomes a shape-shifting jazz art song with excellent voicings by Krantz on acoustic guitar and Akinmusire's solo. Ultimately, the enormous palette of moods, ensemble shapes, and exchanges on Graylen Epicenter, and the sheer, sophisticated inspiration of Binney's written material move this album further into his own jazz sound world than anything he's recorded before. This is one of 2011's finest offerings. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 15, 2014 | Criss Cross Jazz

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Criss Cross Jazz

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Criss Cross Jazz

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Criss Cross Jazz

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Electronic - Released July 9, 2018 | Mythology Records

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Jazz - Released June 28, 2002 | ACT Music

Alto saxophonist David Binney's follow-up to his extraordinary CD South offers a different approach overall while retaining the fresh contemporary style that underlines his status as an innovator and unique voice. Pianist Uri Caine is retained, drummer Jim Black takes over for Brian Blade, tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin teams with Binney on two tracks, Tim LeFebvre is a new addition on electric bass guitar, and Wayne Krantz is in for Adam Rogers on electric guitar. To Binney, balance is an elusive commodity, and nearly impossible to maintain. His love for the fusion and funk music of the '70s is translated into modern terms and gradations. On the high-end level of complexity, the title track displays repeat themes in varying modes and shifting accented tempos, mixed meters, and a funky underpinning completely slowing on the bridge. The chase is on during "Speedy's 9 Is 10" with Binney and McCaslin in hot pursuit, interrupted by the steel guitar of Rogers during his lone cameo appearance on the CD with bassist Fima Ephron. A wild dissected funk delivered by Black during "Fidene" is shaded by creature-feature and groping electronic sounds. There are a few soul ballads that frame Binney's tart alto better than the larger group pieces, and Caine's pretty piano is also showcased in "We Always Cried" and "Perenne." An expanded ensemble with guest Peck Almond elicits clarion calls in 10/8 time during the short "Midnight Sevilla," and there are two takes of the fun and funky "Arlmyn Trangent," again with the wonderful McCaslin. Black is a constant source of rhythmic drive and inventiveness, giving Binney a large palette to paint broad color strokes. While not as vital as South, Balance is a worthy addition to the discography of one of the top performers in modern progressive jazz. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 19, 2015 | Criss Cross

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Mythology Records

4 stars out of 5 -- "From grainy introspection to acerbic ecstasy, alto saxophonist David Binney covers a lot of tonal ground on THIRD OCCASION." © TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Mythology Records

Although altoist David Binney is the leader of the quintet on Out of Airplanes (Adam Rogers only plays guitar on two numbers), the dominant force is actually Bill Frisell. Without Frisell's wide variety of otherworldly sounds and effects, the music would have sounded radically different. The originals alternate between free-form noise, rock-like vamps and introspective ballads, with some selections being all three. Some listeners will find the results invigorating and exciting but then again some may not. A feeling of boredom sets in; of waiting for something to happen by these talented musicians. The sound of the eccentric ensembles is more memorable than any of the themes or the individual selections. With stronger material, this could have been a memorable outing. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | Mythology

David Binney's fruitful partnership with fellow saxophonist Chris Potter yields a sound unlike any other tandem in contemporary music. The way Binney's alto sax merges with Potter's tenor creates a Wall of Sound in melody and harmony that strikes the ear with a stunning clarity and innovative timbre, compounded by an edgy tone that simultaneously soars and sings. Welcome to Life is a parallel recording to Binney's extraordinary effort South for the ACT label, using the same personnel except the swapping of pianist Uri Caine for Craig Taborn on this album. Drummer Brian Blade, bassist Scott Colley, and electric guitarist Aaron Rogers team with the horns to create fresh, groundbreaking music in the best sense within a current day and progressive aesthetic. Their collective attitude makes for some consistently thrilling sounds, starting with the funky, complex 3/4 in 5/4 mixed meters during "Soldifolier," while the title track proves the hand-in-glove approach from the saxophonists holds a certain kinetic energy molded in modality and clockwork rhythms from Blade. Colley struts with ultimate confidence buoyed by Blade's incredibly insistent tight drum gymnastics on the loping, blues infused "Lisliel." Things really click on "Sintra," a fun, loose prism of multiple melodies and harmonies from Binney and Potter in 7/8 time. Rogers and Taborn repeat an advanced line similar to a Mahavishnu Orchestra signature with spare saxophone counterpoint, while a very quick waltz tempo employed on "Ici" showcases the dizzying virtuosity and simpatico feelings between Binney's piquant alto and the brawny tenor of Potter. Taborn's solos and comping are consistently brilliant, as his star continues to rise and ascend into the outer reaches, grounded on terra firma, and streaking ahead like a bullet train. This sextet represents innovation at its best, beyond neo-bop or mainstream jazz, playing a fantastic new music that seeks out far-reaching horizons like few groups ever attain. Welcome to Life and South should be in every collection of those who appreciate great modern music. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Mythology Records

Alto saxophonist Binney (a member of the band Lost Tribe) explores many frameworks within modern jazz with a mostly larger ensemble, at times as many as twelve pieces, or splintered. They include some of the better jazz oriented musicians of the last two generations; tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, bass clarinetist Doug Yates and Jamie Baum, flutes. Pianist Ed Simon, drummer Jeff Hirshfield and percussionists Kenny Wollesen and Daniel Sadownick are extraordinary, guitarist Adam Rogers, bassist Scott Colley, trombonist Clark Gayton and trumpeter Alex Sipiagin are up-and-comers to be taken seriously. It would be easy to view these pieces, all written by Binney, as vehicles for the leader to blow on, and in some obvious cases like "Oddman," Binney and Hirshfield do work out. But his compositional mettle should not be dismissed, that is his first instrument on the finely crafted CD. The eleven selections are wide ranging and profound, there's some special music happening here, collectively and individually. "Jalama" is ECM spatial, "One Year Ago" is hymn-like. The stealth "Girl Of The Southern Sky" and the following track "Voice Of Reason," with unison horns, inspired piano from Simon, counterpointed saxes extending into bass and piano unison labrynth searches, act as a suite. There the tension and release of "The Mondello Line," the seven beat call and response of "Where The Rain Shines," and the avant touches of "I Lie Waiting." As a player himself, Binney's coming out of a slightly Michael Brecker-ish, melodic, progressive, post-modern stance, stopping just short of abstract. He sounds like himself, and insists, as in the liner notes, that this music speaks for itself. To come to any such realizations, a listener will have to purchase this excellent CD, and judge for themselves. We highly recommend, if you want to hear some new, original contemporary jazz inflected music, that you do pick this one up. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 2, 2017 | Tratore

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Jazz - Released October 5, 2018 | Metonic Records