CD review: Brandon Wright

The New Jersey tenor saxophonist lives up to the title of his second disc for Positone. He appears with his own band at New York venues like Dizzy’s Club Cocal Cola, the Kitano, Smalls, Smoke and Zinc, while he has also played in some of that city’s finest big bands – among them the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra hand the Mingus Big Band.

Here he fronts a quartet with a man who must surely be a New York vet by now, Dave Kikoski, on piano, Mingus bands’ fulcrum Boris Koslov on bass and Donald Edwards on drums.

It’s a hard-pushing, full-firing set with Wright’s forceful and straight tenor tone way out front. His own tunes are not particularly compelling, and his choice of covers can be slightly cliched – I really don’t think we need another jazz version of Oasis’s Wonderwall – but in the end the compositions are not the point with this band.

It’s all about the playing, and there can’t be gripes about the playing.

I reckon it might still be a while till Wright can quite match the clear depth Kikoski can bring to a solo, and maybe as a journeyman in the music of others is where his more viable future lies. After all, it’s worked down all the years for David.

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