Gearbox Records 27 Sept, 2019
Binker Golding is a lyrical saxophone player, yet capable of going way out there into abstraction. His work with Moses Boyd was fascinating and exciting and he has played wild free jazz too, whilst here, he leads an excellent band down streets we are more likely to recognise. Coltrane comparisons would be trite, so lets not go there but many people mention Sonny Rollins in the same breath and I’m in agreement. This album feels like a blowing session from Blue Note in the fifties or sixties, one where the band is a meeting of equals, choosing to be led by one instrument today, maybe another next time they make a record.
The band is great. Drums are perfectly loose and a constant source of interest, while the piano roves around in its breaks, and vamps effectively while Golding takes a solo. It’s an equal partner on the first track, I Forgot Santa Monica. The music is, in turns, expressive, propulsive, lyrical and bubbling. Some tunes swing, some are wistful, some are soul-searching. You, That Place, That Time is a stand-out composition and could become a jazz standard. It is expressive and communal, with a joint feeling and group exploration. It grooves so smoothly. Fluorescent Edges With Black closes the set with pure hard blowing, more like what we are used to from Binker. It is very hard-bop in tone and a lot of fun.
This band is put together from some of the brightest names on the London scene and has utter confidence, and rightly so. Like the Binker and Moses work, this is recorded straight to ‘tape’, with no edits. Piano comes from Joe Armon-Jones and Drums from Sam Jones. Both earn their pay and are outstanding. Bassist, Daniel Casimir, doesn’t let the side down either. Whilst the playing here is superb, the compositions are really strong and the promise from this player just gets stronger. At thirty-one, he is making an ever-stronger impression, such that every release is an exciting prospect and I know the pleasure I’ll get from it.