BRANDON WRIGHT, JOURNEYMAN


BW playing here with Max Weinberg Band,
photo by George Burrows

Sounding particularly polished at the age of 30, saxophonist Brandon Wright brings along his colleagues in the Mingus Big Band – pianist David Kikoski, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Donald Edwards – for “Journeyman,” (Posi-Tone Records) his second solo album that demonstrates his keen affinity for post-bebop swing, loosey-goosey funk jazz (“Walk Of Shame”) plus unexpected covers of Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” and Oasis’ “Wonderwall,” two soaring tracks flush with glistening tenor solos and the straight up soulfulness of pianist Kikoski. Wright’s sound is velvety, lush and smooth on the ballads like “Illusions of Light,” and “The Nearness Of You,” while pleasingly lively through the changes on “Big Bully,” a speedy tune that puts the quartet on fast-forward. For the retro-sounding “Choices,” Edwards supplies the backbeat and Kikoski switches to Fender Rhodes as Wright deftly funnels his ideas into a sonic language of welcome riffs and happy improvisation. Wright is a state of the art horn player who squares a traditional sound (think saxophonist Scott Hamilton) with a modern spirit of discovery and “Journeyman” is full of exceptional moments. (10 tracks; 61:09 minutes) www.posi-tone.com

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JAZZ IN SPACE: BRANDON WRIGHT, JOURNEYMAN

Friday, June 1, 2012

BRANDON WRIGHT, JOURNEYMAN


BW playing here with Max Weinberg Band,
photo by George Burrows

Sounding particularly polished at the age of 30, saxophonist Brandon Wright brings along his colleagues in the Mingus Big Band – pianist David Kikoski, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Donald Edwards – for “Journeyman,” (Posi-Tone Records) his second solo album that demonstrates his keen affinity for post-bebop swing, loosey-goosey funk jazz (“Walk Of Shame”) plus unexpected covers of Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” and Oasis’ “Wonderwall,” two soaring tracks flush with glistening tenor solos and the straight up soulfulness of pianist Kikoski. Wright’s sound is velvety, lush and smooth on the ballads like “Illusions of Light,” and “The Nearness Of You,” while pleasingly lively through the changes on “Big Bully,” a speedy tune that puts the quartet on fast-forward. For the retro-sounding “Choices,” Edwards supplies the backbeat and Kikoski switches to Fender Rhodes as Wright deftly funnels his ideas into a sonic language of welcome riffs and happy improvisation. Wright is a state of the art horn player who squares a traditional sound (think saxophonist Scott Hamilton) with a modern spirit of discovery and “Journeyman” is full of exceptional moments. (10 tracks; 61:09 minutes) www.posi-tone.com

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