Donny McCaslin hears sounds and harmonic possibilities as opportunities for exploration and Fast Future is a stellar look at expanding the improvisational paradigm we know as jazz.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The apex of Jazz and Electronic Dance Music or...You got chocolate on my peanut butter! Describing the sound of Fast Future which is the follow up to the critically acclaimed and Grammy nominated Casting For Gravity is tough. Imagine Weather Report and the Aphex Twins get into a bar fight. (Google Aphex Twins if you need to). McCaslin assembles an electro-acoustic exploratory of sound and texture as he continues to test his own creative juices while never getting in his own way. Skeptical at first, big fan now!
Acoustic music with aggressive melodies and tight exchanges between the band members has tunes such as "No Eyes" as melodic yet ambient emotive gem with a myriad of possibilities. From a stylistic perspective the sound yet be slightly more commercial or use the production techniques that normally are ignored by his contemporaries but this allows for a lyrical freshness long absent on the improvisational landscape. "Squeeze Thru" is a more dub-tinged number where influences such as Peter Tosh smolder just below the surface.
If you believe variety is indeed the spice of life than Fast Future should be right up your alley. One of the most ambitious projects of the year!
Tracks: Fast Future; No Eyes; Love and Living; Midnight Light; 54 Cymru Beats; Love What Is Mortal; Underground City; This Side Of Sunrise; Blur; Squeeze Thru.
Personnel: Donny McCaslin: Tenor Sax; Jason Linder: Electric & Acoustic pianos; Synth.; Tim Lefebvre: Electric Bass; Mark Guiliana: Drums; David Binney: Vocals, Additional Synthesizers; Nina Geiger: Vocals; Nate Wood: Guitar; Jana Dagdagan: Spoken Word.