In The Paint is a co-led ensemble with trombonist Alan Ferber whose musical stock continues on the rise. Granted this is a 2009 release but I decided to take a look and see where we are now. Ferber's musical stock at a time when musicians are stepping on each other trying to be the first one in line for consideration of a good gig, has a musical stock still on the upswing. Drummer Gerald Cleaver has developed into one of the most highly respected if not sought after drummers in the business and the rest continue to admirably hold their own. Escreet and Moran are two instrumentalists with chops galore and talent to burn.
In The Paint finds Binney's writing fresh but with a more open ended approach. From a pure compositional standpoint this release is a beast. Mixed meter, a slower than comfortable motivic development that create a textured counterpoint and an intriguing back and forth between Binney and Ferber that while at times slightly disjointed there is an odd accessibility that brings the listener in and back for more. Perhaps the compositional highlight would be the light hearted swing yet with lyrical direction and precision on Binney's "Everybody's Wonderland." While the ensemble can shift harmonics seamlessly and stop on a lyrical dime the addition of Escreet and Schlamb make both of this young phenoms names to have been keeping an eye on. A release painted with darker colors and a slightly edgy sound as compared to some similar releases on the same level this is still a more free form approach that works incredibly well as the self indulgent trip wire is never set off by any of the participants.
Binney and Ferber's share a penchant for a deceptively subtle textured swing, one that is shaken not stirred. Despite what some may consider some unconventional means to an end this is an enthralling release and if a working band develops from this down the road then it is one to be taken most seriously!
Tracks: Growin' Up; In The Paint; Everybody's Wonderland; Interlude I; Paris; Edinburgh; IceCave; Interlude II; La Taqueria; Magnolia; Lautir; Interlude III; Our Inventions.
Personnel: David Binney: alto saxophone; Alan Ferber: trombone; John Escreet: piano; Peter Schlamb: vibes; Thomas Morgan: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.