Donny McCaslin Group
Tim Lefebre - bass
Jason Lindner - fender rhodes
Nate Smith - drums
Donny McCaslin - sax
"Tenor player Donny McCaslin aims high on Soar and rather gloriously hits all his targets" - All About Jazz
Donny McCaslin launched 2004 with a new CD, balancing his career as bandleader with work as one of New York's most in-demand tenor saxophonists.
On his latest Arabesque releae, "The Way Through," the Brooklyn-based artist continues to defy label, proving he can unearth musical truth in any medium.
"The album goes in a lot of different directions, but there's a line that goes through it for me," Donny says of his third solo effort, which follows 2003's "Seen From Above" and 1998's "Exile And Discovery."
That "line" is a trio; McCaslin, weilding tenor and soprano saxophones; drummer Adam Cruz (also heard on marimba and steel pans); and bassist Scott Colley, Donny's co-conspirator in Lan Xang, the edgy, free blowing quartet with drummer Kenny Wollesen and alto saxophonist David Binney.
On several of the CD's 11 tunes, Donny augments this troika with help from Binney on horn and sampler, vocalist Luciana Souza, flutist Anders Bostrom, and clarinetist Douglas Yates. With this limitless palette of colors, McCaslin paints ideas on other canvasses, veering into contemporary classical and electronica, but infusing them with his own brush.
The recording earned critcal praise in May's JAZZTIMES, calling it McCaslin's "most fully realized project to date...McCaslin blends hisinside and outside sensibilities into one sumptuous and satisfying package."
The recording showcases Donny's stellar improvisation and composing skills and sinewy tenor sound. "The way the band interacts with one another, it's very communicative, very organic, " McCaslin says. "It's almost like we're functioning like one organim in a lot of spots, which is very exciting to me."