Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The city that never sleeps, if it did then it might sound something like this. Tyler Blanton's reputation is that of lyrically swinging straight ahead artist yet Gotham finds Blanton running a harmonic path that includes some sonic roads less traveled with rock, techno, and new jazz influences. This is not the norm for the more conventional post bop sound but instead a visionary approach that is a stunning hybrid of something more contemporary but with an edgy twist. Much like the jazz mecca of the world in New York, expect the unexpected.
Blanton and his musical co-conspirators play from a brilliant sonic color palette while creating not a three dimensional lyrical depth of field but a rhythmic pulse that smolders with intensity. An added bonus would be the seamless improvisational conversations that take place between tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin, drummer Nate Wood, and bassist Matt Clohesy. Simply put, Tyler Blanton could not have possible picked a better trio to propel this most adventurous recording forward. "Gotham" packs a rhythmic punch while "Cogs" might be best described as free jazz and metal get into a bar fight...The closer "Breaking Through The Clouds, "an exquisite ballad with the ambient quality of a sunrise over a city ready to swing yet again.
As I have taken my own musical journey attempting to find new sounds, new ideas, and fresh presentations there is little doubt Gotham fulfills all these requirements. The follow up to the critically acclaimed debut Botanic is fierce. The release date is April 22, 2014 and I would recommend you calendar that date. If you can only purchase one more recording this year, Gotham should be the one.
Tracks: Never Sleeps; Freaky Dream; Gotham; Cogs; Tunnels; Breaking Through The Clouds.