With certain musicians play, you get the feeling that they re on a level above their peers. And what s more, it seems to come easy to them. Current saxophonists that fit this mould include Chris Potter, Joe Lovano and Kenny Garrett. Add Donny McCaslin to that list. Donny McCaslin with his new project In Pursuit delivers an exceptionnal album. Great compositions, great musicianship, great soloists. With McCaslin, the musicians on this record are all first rate and include Dave Binney (as), Ben Monder (g), Scott Colley (b), Antonio Sanchez (dr), and Saturnino Pernel (perc).
One of the pleasures of recent jazz has been watching tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin emerge from the pack and establish himself as one of the prime voices of his generation. Unlike many products of Boston's Berklee School of Music, he has developed a robust sound and freewheeling style. Consisting entirely of original compositions, In Pursuit
carries through the Latin influences of its first-rate precedessor, Soar
, while also engaging in compelling "outside" blowing and thoughtful balladry that showcases his flute playing. McCaslin's interplay with a pair of foils, alto saxophonist Dave Binney (who produced the album) and guitarist Ben Monder, is consistently exciting. Even when he looks back on classic styles, he is looking ahead. --Lloyd Sachs