About Donny McCaslin
Tenor saxophone titan and composer Donny McCaslin wears many hats: Downbeat’s Rising Star Poll Winner, Grammy-nominated soloist for Maria Schneider Orchestra, heavy-blowing sideman in the Dave Douglas Quintet, Mingus Dynasty, effective bandleader and composer, and touring machine. Other groups he has toured and recorded with include Lan Xang, Gary Burton, Gil Evans Orchestra, Danilo Perez Quartet, to name just a few.
2011 brought McCaslin’s 9th release as a leader. Perpetual Motion builds on ideas McCaslin brought to the fore in his critically-acclaimed previous effort, 2009’s Declaration, and takes a 180-degree turnaround from 2008’s sparse trio record Recommended Tools. It becomes immediately apparent within the first few seconds why Donny McCaslin has named this album Perpetual Motion. The man is a tenor saxophone-blowing force of nature, unleashing new, mind-numbing ideas at the speed of light, his lips keeping pace with his brain as he turns down one avenue, juts down another and always keeps those of us on the receiving end guessing just where he’ll head next.
The 10-track album, recorded September 2010 in New York, is a feast of colors, sonics, styles and moods. Accompanied by a brilliant cast of collaborators—Adam Benjamin and Uri Caine (splitting Fender Rhodes and piano duties), Tim Lefebvre (electric bass), David Binney (alto saxophone and electronics) and Antonio Sanchez and Mark Giuliana alternating on drums—McCaslin delves into angular post-bop, blistering polyphonic funk, backbeat-driven R&B, delicate and ethereal balladry, all without compromising his distinct compositional voice.