Well, that thing about “being in fashion” might be pushing it a bit or even not that welcome given how faddy mini-trends can be but Joel Ross on his recent album KingMaker is certainly doing his best. Ross to me is a Steve Nelson in approach.
What I am however missing is the sort of blissed out touch Bobby Hutcherson brought to us on an album like San Francisco back in the 1970s. On this side of the Atlantic a player like Lewis Wright of Empirical has a similar approach to Ross but he fits in within the group sound more rather than as the lead instrument which to be frank I think is best for vibes, to colour the instrumentation rather than define it. So let’s not get too carried away but remembering that KingMaker ups Ross’ profile no end and the vibes have a little mini-moment.
From Here & Now released by Los Angeles label Ghost Note Records. David Binney is known as an avant saxophonist and composer and has a sizable international jazz club-attending following. Catch up for instance by hearing his enjoyable guest spot on Joe Locke Subtle Disguise track ‘Red Cloud’ last year where he got the energy level right up. His vocals side is lesser known but is only a small part of the complete picture because he chooses on the album to multi-track electronics, burning sax, synths, vocals, bass, guitar, and he has a number of guests as part of the sound who include man of the moment drummer Louis Cole on one track, Jacob Richards on two, Pedja Milutinovic on a couple and bassists Logan Kane and Pera Krstajic also on a couple each. The album, which has a roving post-jazzrocktronica gleam to it early listens digging deep suggest, was recorded in the States both on the east and west coasts and in the Balkans: over in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.