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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Donny McCaslin - Perpetual Motion (Greenleaf Music, 2011)

By Bryan McAllister

Known for his work in Dave Douglas Quintet and Maria Schneider Orchestra, Donny McCaslin’s ninth solo release, “Perpetual Motion,” is a funkafied, spacey, electronic rock-jazz masterpiece. McCaslin’s playing is virtuosic, and his tight rhythm section provides the canvas for explorative improvisation from every member of the band.

Adam Benjamin is a mad scientist. If you’re not hip to his playing in some of the best bands in modern jazz, go check out Kneebody and Dave Douglas’ Keystone group immediately. On this record, his Rhodes and piano work provides the harmonic and textural support for McCaslin’s solos as well as brings life to each composition.

Tim Lefebvre, Uri Caine, Antonio Sanchez and Mark Guiliana each have a unique quality to their playing, and McCaslin has employed their talents marvelously. Each track has something different to offer, while at the same time the whole album retains a specific musical message.

This album is a total homerun, and I would obviously recommend it to any fans of jazz and/or fusion. I’ve been playing this album very regularly for the last couple of weeks, and I will not be stopping any time soon.

Donny McCaslin – Tenor saxophone
Adam Benjamin – Fender Rhodes, piano
Uri Caine – Piano, Fender Rhodes
Tim Lefebvre – Electric bass
Antonio Sanchez – Drums
Mark Guiliana - Drums
David Binney – Alto saxophone, electronics

Listen and download from Greenleafmusic.



Hosiery For Men said...

I totally agree with the reviewer. This recording is a total knockout.

joesh said...

***** ......?

Anonymous said...

****....? who needs stars? Reading the review gives a perfectly adequate understanding of the reviewers opinion. Any score or rating is only a subjective marker on a subjective scale.

Bryan McAllister said...

I agree that stars aren't necessary, but for the record I gave this album 5 stars, but they must have been lost in the uploading of the review.

joesh said...

Hi Anon, sorry to have mentioned stars. If you read some of the previous posts you'll notice that we stopped star ratings and everybody complained and so they got re-instated.

I naturally noticed that Bryan certainly enjoyed the music (which came across in the review), and just decided to make a star remark as a 'jolly jape', but it won't happen again ;-)

Stephan said...

"Any score or rating is only a subjective marker on a subjective scale."

Stars may not be necessary, but a review is as subjective as any marker and that's totally okay, because reviews containing only pure facts tend to be boring.

Still, I find ratings helpful for uninterestingly looking albums, because a 5-star-rating can make me take a closer look, in spite of my first impression. Of course some kind of award like "reviewer's choice" could have the same effect.

Anonymous said...

Albert: what a great album! Mark Giuliana is a great drummer and really gives such a drive to the whole thing on the last tracks, that are my favorite. And that is only one of the super-musicians on this album. Sanchez is wild, the keys are perfectly matching and balancing sax explorations, the electronics are just so powerful thanks to Binney and McCaslin shines. Never too freaky, still accessible, full of energy. Best jazz album in 2011, for now...