There are more tenor players then one can count that are as technically proficient as they come but the end result is more often then not an artistic flat line. Brandon Wright is that unique mix of a throwback player that can create his own contemporary voice and is part of a very exciting future for straight ahead jazz. For those unfamiliar with Wright's work consider him that musical happy place between Mark Turner and Eric Alexander.
What makes Boiling Point work so well is that the release lives up to the name on virtually every possible level. An intense and hard charging straight ahead gem with an incredible ebb and flow of well placed original works and standards reinvented with Wright's own unique lyrical voice. As expected there are some covers on this release but these are far more than a quick riff on some standards in an attempt to score an easy pay day. "Here's That Rainy Day" is an absolutely stunning duet between Wright and pianist David Kikoski. Tenor saxophone/piano duets (good ones) are somewhat rare and this particular tune embodies all the old school warmth and charm far exceeding what might be expected of this 27 year old phenom. One of the most engaging aspect to Boiling Point is that Wright can effortlessly shift harmonic gears on the fly moving to "Interstate Love Song" from Stone Temple Pilots may sound like a musical hodgepodge and would be in the hands of a lesser talent. The title track "Boiling Point" showcases Wright at his very best. "Boiling Point" is a tasty smoker built around stop time, swing and Latin grooves and the improvisation built around the melody is spot on. Pure flavor. "Freeman" is an up tempo blues with a hint of a Michael Brecker influence but done Wright's way. Kikoski moves harmonically in a McCoy Tyner like fashion while the legendary and at time eclectic drummer Matt Wilson owns the pocket.
Brandon Wright is an emerging talent, a star in the making. There are hundreds of tenor players trying to find their own sound by doing a riff on someone else. Wright is a searching artist. Brandon Wright is a name to remember and after listening to Boiling Point, a name you will not soon forget.
A stellar recording from one of the brightest young tenor players of our time!
Tracks: Freeman; Drift; Odd Man Out; Boiling Point; Here's That Rainy Day; Castaway; Interstate Love Song; You're My Everything.
Personnel: Brandon Wright: tenor saxophone; Alex Sipiagin: trumpet; David Kikoski: piano; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.