Saturday, July 21, 2018

Binker and Moses - Alive in the East? (Gearbox, 2018)

Binker and Moses are one of the hottest groups on the burgeoning London jazz scene and this LP presents the principals, Binker Golding on tenor saxophone and Moses Boyd on drums in the company of some interesting guests like: Yussef Dayes on drums, Tori Handsley on harp, the legendary Evan Parker on tenor and soprano saxophones and Byron Wallen on trumpet. They work together very well, and the results are modern jazz that melds the mainstream and avant-garde into a very interesting tapestry. After the cool drum introduction, "The Birth Of Light," things truly kick in on "How Land Learnt to Be Still" where the choppy rhythm gives way to tenor and soprano saxophones dueling in the air. The crisp beat and shards of harp ground the performance, but the saxophones are willing to take flight and bring the improvisation to the next level. The different tones deliver fine grains of texture, stretching out and creating the longest track on the album and one of the most memorable, with a stellar tenor saxophone section weaves through the middle part of the track leading to a crisp trumpet interlude. "How Fire Was Made" incorporates abstract saxophone squiggles and an anxious beat into a fast paced and edgy repetitive section that gains energy by spinning madly before lifting off into a raw and impressive collective improvisation. There is a brief saxophone feature for circular breathing on "How The Air Learnt To Move" that is very impressive, gradually moving into "Children of the Ultra Blacks" a song which develops complex drumming with evocative harp chords and trumpet to create an admirable display of skill. The group creates a cohesive sound of their own, incorporating unexpected rhythms and stoic saxophone into the overall performance forming a storming full band improvised section that barrels relentlessly forward. "The Discovery of Human Flesh" opens gracefully with spare trumpet and percussion, before the music evolves to a textured weaving of saxophones and brass adding interesting hues and colors to the groups palette developing an Ayler-ish urgency that drives the music through the home stretch. Alive In The East -

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