ENG DMG Newsletter, Bruce Lee Gallanter (may.2008)

Featuring David Binney on alto sax & electronics and Jeff Hirshfield on drums. This fine duo disc was recorded in the studio in 2002 and released in 2003. Considering that downtown alto sax great, Dave Binney, now has some 10 discs as a leader, this one is his only duo recording. The odd thing is that it doesn’t sound like a duo, since Binney is also playing electronics that adds bass and/or guitar-like parts to the duo’s sound. Dave wrote all but two of the pieces here, with one cover by Wayne Shorter and one more traditional song. The opening piece is Shorter’s “Dolores” and there are no electronics involved or needed as the duo do a splendid version of this hard swinging standard, originally found on the ‘Miles Smiles’ album. Dave’s synth adds an eerie aura on “The Mystery of Influence,” yet the duo still swings together superbly after the synth ends. “Mallari” sounds like a dreamy, old folk song and Dave plays it with a touching grace, his warm tone closer to tenor than alto sax. Tanya Henri adds a lovely vocal flourish on this piece which fits perfectly. I dig the way the title track seems to balance between a swinging and funky groove with some strong alto by Dave, the synth is a bit on the cheesy side tone-wise though. There is one live track (from the 55 Bar) here and it is a smokin’ duo excursion that works perfectly as just one solid duo. Overall, this entire disc works well since this duo sounds as if they are hooked up to the same thing.