The group was designed around the classic jazz quartet model. Ban enlisted saxophonist Abraham Burton and drummer Eric McPherson, Album) of whom come from a traditional jazz background. Ban's goal was to promote the unique tensions provided by Burton's hard-bop influenced style against the music he wrote for the group.
On the group's new album, Mystery, Ban has presented an enticing blend of classic and creative sounds, which have created fascinating tensions unique to the ensemble. The music was recorded by Jimmy Katz at Cornelia St. It also captured an ensemble fresh from a US and European tour and willing to take all risks.
Ban had met Burton in through drummer Bruce Cox, who recommended they meet and perform together. The saxophonist has been well versed, having mastered the jazz idiom, most notably with a long tenure with drummer Art Taylor.
Ban mentioned that he felt that Burton's sense of melody was astounding. Though the two come from different worlds, musically, they have worked together well in this ensemble because of their willingness to take risks to create genuinely openhearted music. Harmology - Alex Harding Trio - Freeflow (CD are at least a couple of blues-related numbers, a spiritual, some free improvisation, and some free-form compositions. The saxophonist caresses a juicy sound from his horn, sometimes content to let its gorgeous tone hang clearly in the air like a Album) of rich cream.
Jimmy Weinstein wisely lays low on the drums as does Chris Dahlgren on bass to let the sax dominate. There is a sense that a piano might have added more depth, but as it is, there are pleasures galore just hearing Harding wail. On "Blues Diffusion," for example, he lets loose with an intensity that points to his potential. The saxophonist has the skills and the sound to make an important contribution on his horn, and this recording, while not his breakthrough, is an important step along the way.
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