Brandon Wright avoids many of the mistakes made by young jazz artists on their debut recordings as leaders. Recruiting a band that is heavy with veterans, including trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, pianist David Kikoski, bassist Hans Glawischnig, and the heavily in-demand drummer Matt Wilson, the tenor saxophonist is stimulated by the wealth of experience surrounding him. While Wright is one of many heavily influenced by John Coltrane, he doesn't slavishly imitate the jazz legend, though there is no mistaking his debt to his predecessor in his brisk post-bop opener "Free Man." "Odd Man Out" is introduced with a poignant solo by Kikoski, though this is no ballad, but an edgy blues that has plenty of surprising twists. Wright is equally comfortable interpreting songs by others. Not many jazz artists turn to the Stone Temple Pilots for repertoire, but Wright succeeds with his catchy setting of Robert DeLeo's "Interstate Love Song." The standard "Here's That Rainy Day" has long been a favorite of jazz musicians, so Wright realized that this track would be the acid test of his talent. He shines by mixing his big tone with lyricism and spacious playing. Wright also delivers the goods with his breezy setting of "You're My Everything." Brandon Wright should be extremely pleased with his initial release as a leader.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden