David Binney Quartet
Thursday, October 6, 8 p.m.| Kate Buchanan Room, HSU
“Binney is a jazz subversive, intent on making his music accessible to more mainstream fans, but still unsettling the ears with forays into uncaged turbulence.”
—Martin Longley, Jazz Review (UK)
“David Binney has been carving the kind of musical niche that most artists dream of. Though he's a potent and innovative player, his writing is so distinctive that one can identify a Binney composition, regardless of the context, within the first bars.”
—John Kelman, All About Jazz
(For music and links, scroll to the bottom of this page)
We set our sights on alto saxophonist David Binney—whose knotty, dramatic, tuneful compositions are among the most distinctive in contemporary jazz—a long time ago. So when he showed up here with drummer Antonio Sanchez a couple years back, we finally buttonholed him. A whole lot of musicians’ musicians jockey to play with Binney whenever they can: on his latest album, for instance, he augments the latest incarnation of his quartet—whose past members include pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Brian Blade—with guests Ambrose Akinmusire (RJA 2010-11) and Mark Turner (RJA 2008-09, with FLY). But the core members of this band, which features rising star pianist David Virelles along with Eivind Opsvik on bass and Dan Weiss on drums, form a crack unit all by themselves.
Binney grew up on the California coast between Santa Barbara and LA, but moved to New York at age 19. He studied with Phil Woods and Dave Liebman, gigged all over town (notably with Jim Hall and Cecil McBee), and even paid the bills as a sideman with Aretha Franklin and Maceo Parker. But it was his close association with two other young saxophonists—Chris Potter and Donny McCaslin—that started him on a trajectory to becoming one of the touchstones of New York's "avant-contemporary" scene.
Binney now wears many hats: prolific composer, restless improviser, multi-group bandleader, in-demand sideman, and producer of several dozen albums (including nearly a score of his own, primarily on Criss Cross and Mythology, a label he began in the late 90s). For over a decade, he's been the genius loci of Greenwich Village's storied 55 Bar, the tiny, underground musical laboratory that's incubated some of today's most potent players.
Young Cuban Pianist David Virelles spent much of the last decade in Canada studying, woodshedding with Jane Bunnett, winning awards, and recording for the Justin Time label. Since moving to New York he's turned plenty of heads, including that of the Gray Lady (the Times), who singled out his playing on a recent Mark Turner gig at the Village Vanguard and advised readers to "[k]eep an eye on him."
Norwegian bassist Eivind Opsvik has been living and working in New York for over a decade, playing with veterans like Paul Motian and up-and-comers like Kris Davis and Harris Eisenstadt, and fronting his own band, "Overseas."
And versatile drummer Dan Weiss, equally at home on the trap set and the tabla, has held the drum chair in groups led by Lee Konitz, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and our 2011-12 cleanup hitter Rez Abbasi in addition to Third Occasion. Two years ago, Weiss was named (by Ben Ratliff of the New York Times) as one of "Five Drummers Whose Time Is Now."
Tickets ($15 General Admission, $10 Students & Seniors) are available here at our website, or at Wildberries, Wildwood Music, People's Records, and The Works.
The David Binney Quartet will also present a FREE public workshop the following morning, Friday, October 7th at 10:00 in Music 131. People of all levels of experience are welcome to attend.
Words & Pixels:
Additional support for this show comes from George Epperson DDS, Libation Wine Shop & Wine Bar, Ange Lobue, and Rustic West Trading Company.