David Binney | Welcome to Life

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Welcome to Life

by David Binney

Binney plays the stew out of the sax and convenes the best and brightest of his peer group- Chris Potter, Brian Blade, Scott Colley, Craig Taborn, and Adam Rogers - all team players, attentive to detail, and operating at the top of their games. Ted Panken
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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1. Soldifolier
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2. Welcome to Life
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3. Lisliel
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4. Frez
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5. Our Time Together
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6. Sintra
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7. Enchantress
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8. Ici
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9. California
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT DAVE BINNEY:
Stereophile says: "Dave Binney possesses one of the most original minds in contemporary music".

The Montreal Gazette says it best: "Add Dave Binney's dynamic voice on saxophone and his great writing to the chorus of creators re-invigorating jazz."

DownBeat calls Binney "...a strikingly original composer/leader/conceptualist." **** 1/2

BIO:
Acclaimed as a considerable and highly individual compositional talent, saxophonist Dave Binney is one of the most prolific young jazz musicians on the scene today. Winning praise from critics and colleagues alike, Dave was recently singled out by Jazz Times as one of a handful of "young players who have created an alternative jazz scene...all of whom are playing adventurous, original music."

Known for his performances with such prestigious groups as the big bands of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider, as well as with Jim Hall, Bobby Previte and the Cecil McBee quintet. Dave was also a co-founder of the hard-edged quintet "Lost Tribe" and the open-form collective quartet "Lan Xang." With these groups and on his own, he has recorded a dozen albums as leader or co-leader.

Dave was born in Miami, Florida and raised in Southern California. His love of jazz dates back to his childhood, when the music of Coltrane, Miles, Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter and many others was introduced to him by his parents (along with that of Milton Nascimento, Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, of course). He began to study the saxophone and at the age of 19 moved to New York City to play gigs and to study with Phil Woods, Dave Liebman and George Coleman.

In 1989 Dave was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to record his first album. "Point Game", which was released on the French label Owl Records, featuring Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Edward Simon, Adam Rogers and Lonnie Plaxico.

Since then, Dave's distinctive saxophone sound and innovative compositions have been heard from basement clubs in New York to jazz festivals in Europe. In addition to Dave's extensive work as a leader, he has been sought after as a sideman, appearing on record with Medeski, Martin & Wood and Uri Caine's Mahler Project. Dave has also appeared on stage with Aretha Franklin, at Carnegie Hall, and with Maceo Parker, to name a few. He has produced all of his own albums, in addition to two of the Lost Tribe releases. Dave started his record label, Mythology Records, in 1998.

"Welcome to Life" Group Bio's

Chris Potter is widely regarded as one of the finest jazz saxophonists of his generation. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Chris spent most of his childhood in Columbia, South Carolina. He exhibited an early interest in all kinds of music and quickly became a prodigy, mastering several instruments including guitar and piano, and finally gravitating toward the alto and tenor saxophone. Chris played his first professional jazz gig at age 13 and quickly developed a devoted local following. He attended college in New York City, first at the New School, and later at Manhattan School of Music. Chris has released a number of albums as leader and has performed and recorded with many leading musicians including Kenny Werner, Red Rodney, Marian McPartland, the Mingus Big Band, Paul Motian, Ray Brown, Jim Hall, James Moody, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Mike Mainieri, Steve Swallow, Steely Dan, Dave Holland, Joanne Brackeen, and many more. His 1998 CD Vertigo was named one of the year's top ten jazz CDs by both Jazziz magazine and The New York Times. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for his work on the Joanne Brackeen recording Pink Elephant Magic. His 2004 CD Lift: Live At The Village Vanguard was named one of the year's ten best new jazz recordings by Fred Kaplan of Slate.

Adam Rogers There aren't that many guitarists who can claim to have played alongside both John Zorn and Norah Jones. But Adam Rogers, whose credits also include stints with Regina Carter, Elvis Costello, the Mingus Orchestra, and Simon Shaheen, and who was co-leader of the respected fusion band Lost Tribe, is nothing if not broad-minded. The nice thing is that in his work as a leader he lets his wide range of experiences influence his playing without feeling the need to showcase all of them individually; instead, he plays in a generally quite straight-ahead style, with a unique combination of a warm, intimate tone and a sometimes aggressive attack. ~ Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

Craig Taborn Jazz pianist and organist, Craig Taborn, began working professionally during the 1990's in a variety of musical contexts; ranging from straight-ahead jazz to more outside music, with young jazz musicians, seasoned veterans, and even techno artists. In his hometown of Minneapolis, Taborn studied piano, composition, and music theory with area university professors before going away to college. Prior to graduating from college, Taborn performed on three recordings as a member of the James Carter Quartet. After graduating with a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1995, DIW released Taborn's first date as a leader, The Craig Taborn Trio. He then moved to New York City, and by the close of the '90s, had performed on two more Carter releases, Roscoe Mitchell's 1999 ECM release: Nine to Get Ready, Detroiter Carl Craig's techno-jazz project: Innerzone Orchestra, and on Hugh Ragin's Afternoon in Harlem. At the beginning of 2000, Taborn was active performing along with drummer Tom Rainey in Tim Berne's latest project, Quiksand.

Scott Colley, an in-demand sideman, also gained recognition for his important work as a leader. The Los Angeles-born bassist studied jazz and composition at the California Institute for the Arts, graduated in 1988, and relocated to New York. His first major gig was with the late Carmen McRae. He has since performed and recorded with a who's who of contemporary jazz musicians including Jim Hall, Andrew Hill, Joe Henderson, John Scofield, Renee Rosnes, Brian Blade, Chris Potter, Ben Perowsky, Tim Ries, Rick Margitza, and more. Since the release of his debut CD, Portable Universe, in 1997, Colley has recorded for Criss Cross, SteepleChase, Arabesque, and Palmetto. ~ David R. Adler, All Music Guide

Brian Blade A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Brian established himself as a versatile, accomplished drummer early in his career, appearing on albums by the likes of Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett and Bob Dylan before he released his first album, Brian Blade Fellowship at the age of 27 in 1998. Perceptual followed two years later. Also recorded w/Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, et al ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

FULL DISCOGRAPHY:
~David Binney>Bastion of Sanity - Criss Cross Records, 2005: Features Chris Potter, Jacob Sacks, Dan Weiss, Thomas Morgan
~David Binney and Edward Simon>Fiestas de Agosto - Red Records, 2005
~David Binney>Welcome to Life - Mythology Records, 2004 Features: Chris Potter, Craig Taborn, Brian Blade, Scott Colley, Adam Rogers
~David Binney and Jeff Hirshfield>A Small Madness - Auand Records, 2003
~David Binney>Balance - ACT Records, 2002 Features: Wayne Krantz, Uri Caine, Tim Lefebvre, Fima Ephron, Donny McCaslin, Adam Rogers, Jim Black
~David Binney>Afinidad - RED Records, 2001 w/Edward Simon; Features: Brian Blade, Scott Colley, Adam Rogers, Lucia Pulido
~David Binney>South - ACT Records, 2001 Features: Chris Potter, Uri Caine, Brian Blade, Scott Colley, Adam Rogers, Jim Black
~Lan Xang>Hidden Gardens - Naxos Records, 2000
~David Binney>Free to Dream - Mythology Records, 1998 Features: Jeff Hirshfield, Edward Simon, Kenny Wollesen, Scott Colley, Adam Rogers, Donny McCaslin and others
~Edward Simon Group>La Bikina - Mythology Records, 1998 Features: Edward Simon, Mark Turner, Ben Street, Adam Cruz and others
~Lan Xang - Mythology Records, 1998 Features: Scott Colley, Donny McCaslin, Jeff Hirshfield
~Lost Tribe>Many Lifetimes-- Arabesque Records, 1998
~David Binney>The Luxury of Guessing - Audioquest Records, 1995 Features: Jeff Hirshfield, Scott Colley, Uri Caine, Ben Monder, Donny McCaslin
~Lost Tribe>Soulfish - Windham Hill/High St. Records, 1994
~Lost Tribe - Windham Hill Records, 1993 Produced by Walter Becker
~David Binney>Point Game - Owl Records/Mesa-Bluemoon Records, 1991 Features: Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Edward Simon, Lonnie Plaxico, Adam Rogers

~Samo Salamon>Sextet Ela's Dream - Splasch Records, 2005
~Alex Sipiagin>Equilibrium - Criss Cross Records, 2005
~Alex Sipiagin>Images - TCB Records, 1998
~Joel Harrison>So Long Second Street - ACT Records, 2004
~Joel Harrison>Free Country - ACT Records, 2003 Features Norah Jones, Uri Caine and others
~Donny McCaslin>The Way Through - Arabesque Records, 2003
Eric St. Laurent Group Osmose - Jazzhaus Muzik, 2003 Featured Special Guest
~Jazzhole>Circle of the Sun - 2003
~Jazzhole>And the Feeling Goes Round - Mesa-Bluemoon Records, 1995
~Jazzhole - Mesa-Bluemoon Records, 1994 Featured Soloist
~John Zorn>Voices in the Wilderness - Tzadik Records, 2003
~Fima Ephron>Soul Machine - Tzadik Records, 2001
~Matthew Garrison - GJP, 2000
~David Gilmore>Ritualism - Kashka Music, 2000
~Uri Caine Mahler Project>Live in Toblach - Winter and Winter, 1999
~Uri Caine Mahler Project>Urlicht - Winter and Winter, 1997
~Drew Gress' Jagged Sky>Heyday - Soulnote Records, 1998
~Leni Stern>Recollection - LSR Recordings, 1998 w/Kenny Wollesen, Don Falzone, Lisa Michel and others
~Scott Colley>Portable Universe - Freelance Records, 1998
~Medeski, Martin, & Wood>It's a Jungle in Here - Grammavision Records, 1994
~Virgil Moorfield>Distractions on the Way to the Kings Party - 1994
~Dreamtime - Fibre Records, 1993
~Life on Mars - 1993 Featured Special Guest
~Lonnie Plaxico>Short Takes - Muse Records, 1993
~Alain Mion>In New York - 1992 w/Tom Rainey and Marc Johnson
Fernando Tarres Cyclical Obsessions
~Boomish>Clearance Sale - ESC Records, 2000

AS PRODUCER:
All of his own records
Joel Harrison So Long Second Street - ACT Records, 2004
Donny McCaslin The Way Through - Arabesque Records, 2003
Jamie Baum (co) 1996
Lost Tribe Soulfish (co) 1995
Lost Tribe Many Lifetimes (co) 1998

GIGS INCLUDE:
Aretha Franklin, Carnegie Hall 1996
Maceo Parker, Montreal 1996
Jamiroquai, Montreal 1995
Saturday Night Live Band, 1999
Jim Hall Quartet, Village Vanguard 2001
Lucinda Williams, Central Park 2002

BANDS INCLUDE:
Jim Hall Quartet
Uri Caine: Mahler Project
Uri Caine: Bach Project
Lost Tribe w/Adam Rogers, Ben Perowsky, Fima Ephron
Global Theory w/James Genus, Dave Gilmore, Uri Caine,
Rodney Holmes
Marvin "Smitty" Smith Electric Band
Wayne Krantz Band
Joel Harrison: Free Country
Kenny Wollesen: "The Wollesens"
Steve Bernstein: Sex Mob w/John Medeski
Gil Evans Orchestra
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Lan Xang w/ Donny McCaslin, Kenny Wollesen, Scott Colley
Drew Gress: Jagged Sky w/Kenny Wollesen, Ben Monder
Bobby Previte: Horse
Edward Simon Group
Cecil Mcbee Band
Eumir Deodato Band

TOURS:
Europe, U.S.A., Canada, Latin America: 1991-2005, inclusive


Reviews


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TERRENCE FAHY

welcome to life /quality of life is a keeper and emoyionally exciting music whic
traditional jazz is what mostly influenced these players to create such emotionally charged and beautiful music that is presented here so for me my listening i take very seriously andthe chemistry among these folks is so intense and unbelieveable that one who listens to these players has to appreciate the complexity of composition.so anyway welcome to life is extremely high quality artistry that just continues to get better with everything that these musicians touch and take part in.its like there are "no limits"to one's complex creativity that just continues to play itself out in the world of jazz.the compositional skills is what attractsme to this and other jazz players and i expect it will just continue to blossom with each players contribution of musical creativity and the most wonderful thing about this improvisitional music is that it continuesto change and grow and thats what makes this music so exciting.so take that plunge and i promise you that welcome to life will be a recording that you will be excited about for years to come.

Phil DiPietro, All About Jazz

...Gigging with everyone from Aretha to Zorn implies the wide-ranging skill set
Chris Potter, Brian Blade, Scott Colley, Craig Taborn, Adam Rogers, David Binney—ultra-contemporary modern jazz composers, the latest winners in the Downbeat players poll, or jazzers deserving of a modicum of the hype swirling around the plus band of the moment? All of these, but also the list of participants on Binney's outstanding new Welcome to Life, issued on his own Mythology imprint. These all-stars have been at it for some time now, so this effort potentially marks their full transition in the minds of fans and critics alike from the “emerging” to the “established” category. In fact, all should be classified in the elite of the current vanguard, especially Binney, who released his first recording as a leader some fifteen years ago.

Appearing on more than fifty recordings and gigging with everyone from Aretha to Zorn implies the wide-ranging skill set that Binney has perfected to deal with his modern jazz muse. “Welcome to Life” propels us into the moment with unison piano and bass, conveying the tenor and alto horn section forward. Stating strongly together initially, the horns then alternate leading and following, leaning out over a sparser rhythm section breakdown, adding tension before releasing back to the gallop. This technique also introduces Adam Rogers' angular electric guitar solo, brimming with his almost-futuristic phraseology, amalgamating without appropriating the electric guitar's history of influence. Craig Taborn's done much the same on piano, drawing freely on his choruses here from Powell, Monk, Hancock, Tyner, Corea, and Jarrett, while settling in on none.

As players, all have that quality, drawing on the influences and inspiration of the greats to the point where lineage is broken and to the artistic place where chops become such a given they cease to matter. So much so, for instance, you won't be distracted by Rogers' expertise on acoustic slide or Binney's frightening facility on alto as notes blur into one, but rather become enraptured in the embrace of “Lisliel.” Romance continues in the spiraling spell of the “Enchantress,” spurred forward by Taborn's sequenced progression and lush voicings, abetting Rogers' bopped-out Martin steel and Colley's velvety turn. Binney's compositional acumen knows no stylistic bounds and leaves no loose ends, like “Frez,” which seamlessly links M-BASE rhythmic explorations to ECM's pastoral lyricism.

A sobering indication of the current state of jazz affairs is included on the jacket: “Please visit davidbinney.com , mythologyrecords.com and artistshare.com . Tell your friends, as this is our future as musicians and listeners. We are on our own, as individual artists to bring music to the world. Please support us if you like what you hear-Welcome to Life indeed! Invigorating that someone like Binney can so openly articulate and confront where we're at. On a release of this caliber, this statement confirms what we should acknowledge—things are going to get worse in the jazz marketplace before they get better. But with new standard-bearers like Binney and company firmly holding and boldly reinventing the mantle, things are bound to get better a whole lot faster.

Eddie Becton, All About Jazz

The nine selections of Welcome to Life are glaringly different and interesting m
Saxophonist David Binney's latest release, Welcome to Life, features Chris Potter (tenor saxophone), Craig Taborn (piano), Adam Rogers (guitar), Scott Colley (bass) and Brian Blade (drums). The opening ”Soldifolier” is a crisp, open piece where Blade deserves special accolades for his masterful display of unobtrusive styling. “Frez” features Binney, robust, clear, and lyrical. And the supporting cast aptly carries the melody, making the leader's sound all the more fluid and tight.

Meanwhile, “Our Time Together” shifts pace as a soulful ballad that demonstrates Binney is not only capable of swinging in the hard bop tradition, but he's equally comfortable reciting an ethereal musical poem. “California” continues the group's mellow vibe, with Binney, Taborn, and Colley providing the formidable foundation. Airy and fresh, “California” is draped in serenity, albeit with several rock-laced lines by Rogers.

The nine selections of Welcome to Life are glaringly different and interesting melodically. I do wish, however, that Binney had an opportunity to stretch out more. For example, he cooks mercilessly on “Frez,” exhibiting a range of passion and musical tenacity that no other track matches. Otherwise, Welcome to Life is a harmonically consistent, fluid venture that demonstrates Binney's alto acumen, particularly his sensibility of surrounding himself with tremendous support.

Sean Patrick Fitzell, All About Jazz

...announces Binney as a forward-thinking composer, with the chops and supportin
After making fusion fun again with Lost Tribe, alto saxophonist David Binney continues to expand his compositional language, organically infusing jazz with notions of rock and funk without sounding kitschy or forced. On his latest effort, Welcome to Life, the nine original compositions are well attended by the assembled like-minded musicians: tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, keyboardist Craig Taborn, guitarist Adam Rogers, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade. Their adept performances of Binney's rhythmically and melodically quirky pieces flow smoothly, providing an adventurous listen.

Soldifolier gets things started with a syncopated head nicely accented by Blade's confident drumming, a platform for the unison saxophone lines and Taborn's clever piano solo. His rhythmic piano phrase sets up the title track, punctuated by Rogers guitar, which makes effective use of dynamics and quoting snippets of the written music for extrapolation. The ambitious Frez has an extended form with several parts, the first is another offbeat feel, with Rogers throwing some nice licks, and in the second, the rhythm section locks into a tight, straight ahead rock feel with the horns soaring above. Taborn and Blade spice up the extended solos of Potter and Binney, who both take advantage of the disparate parts.


Sintra is another great vehicle for the rhythm section, while the out-chorus finds the horn players dancing around and completing each other's lines, as Blade spurs them along. Rogers acoustic guitar introduces the subtle Enchantress, which also boasts a rare, but welcome, solo from Colley. The quick pace of Ici breaks down to an edgy free section, the jaggedness serving as an antidote to the more polished and tightly wound compositions dominating, that announces Binney as a forward-thinking composer, with the chops and supporting cast, to back it up.

Ted Panken, Downbeat

Binney plays the stew out of the sax and convenes the best and brightest of his
On the cover of Welcome To Life, a beleaguered cartoon figure resembling David Binney, surrounded by a gritty circle of collaged photographs that reference, among other things, slugging boxers, an inner city beach party, Asian peasants and a parachute, cries “why didn’t someone warn me about all of this?” It’s an interesting metaphor for the tonal personality of the 42-year-old alto saxophonist, who, since moving to New York from California at the cusp of the 90’s, has digested the most challenging jazz vocabulary of the past two decades, sussed out his environment, and, with wit, patience and a certain knowing innocence, evolved a personal approach that balances emotion and formal complexity.

On intimate terms with Latin beats and the odd-metered funk structures associated with the M-Base years of Steve Coleman and Greg Osby, Binney draws deeply from the well of such Wayne Shorter long-form dramas as Phantom Navigator, Atlantis and High Life. Like Shorter, he’s a musical story-teller and a romantic, with a penchant for episodic compositions replete with twisting lines and yearning melodies. He orchestrates them deftly, juxtaposing rhythms and timbres while deploying tension-and-release to strong effect.

Boasting precise articulation and a tart tone in the upper and middle registers, Binney also plays the stew out of the alto sax, and convenes the best and brightest of his peer group. All are team players, attentive to detail, and in Binney’s company, operate at the top of their games. Binney and tenor saxist Chris Potter, a frequent front-line partner, get a one-instrument sound on the unisons, and do each other one better on the solos, while keyboardist Craig Taborn and guitarist Adam Rogers switch back and forth between acoustic and electronic environments, working with a broad array of sounds and textures. Brian Blade and Scott Colley watch everyone’s back, interacting at a rarified level and paying painterly attention to color and pulse while never allowing the groove to flag.