saxophonist and composer, creates works that combine many elements:
drawing on the motion of dance, exploring the complexity of melody and
time unbound, and emphasizing improvisation at the core. His new works,
inspired by journeys of discovery and transformation and by sights and
sounds close to home, merge old and new musical forms and incorporate
rhythmic cycles and modalities from West Africa, India, and around the
globe. David co-led the Brooklyn Sax Quartet with Fred Ho
for a decade. In 2012 he released his sextet's debut double CD Sunset Park
Polyphony. Mike Shanley describes the music as "a new forceful
jazz" (Shanley-on Music); Steve Holtje calls the CD "[Bindman's]
masterpiece so far" (Culture Catch); Sergio Piccirilli writes that
"David Bindman completes here a successful creative circle born of his
curiosity to understand the world" (El Intruso). Bindman seeks to
create work that offers, in any way possible, artistic
alternatives to the profit-driven imperatives that imperil life, that
deny justice, and that go against the human spirit and the natural
world. He lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
photo by Steve Johnson
David Bindman Sextet, Ten Billion Versions of Reality CD release November 1, 2017
CDs and downloads available at: CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, and in NYC at Downtown Music Gallery
Reviews: Downbeat, All About Jazz, DMG Newsletter
An invitation and musings...
Walking through Grand Army Plaza farmers' market the other day, I was
thinking about tomatoes. When a farmer grows some organic tomatoes,
when she cares for the soil, and if there is enough rain and sun, the
tomatoes blossom and are eventually ready to harvest. We eat some raw,
and cook others slowly with other ingredients.
Art is the product of such nurturing—an
alchemy of elements, intentions, visions, interacting with traditions,
inspiring us to think, feel, move, and imagine in ways that can enlarge
our perspectives and lives.
I liken the music on this recording to “slow
food.” Not because the music is slow. It is a product of long
evolutions – musical, personal and collective. It is composed of simple
elements, brought together and interacting in complex ways.
I invite you to spend time with this
music, to peel back the layers, to be immersed in it – slow, fast, and
everything in between.
“…threads intersecting or appearing in different planes, following a
narrative or creating a texture, voices conversing with each other and
interacting with the feelings and intent of the pieces." (from liner
"…Each of us experiences our own reality; it’s part of the fascination.
Included in this ‘ten billion’ are the dolphins, orangutans, and others
who experience love, grief, and consciousness in their own ways.” (from
Blood Drum Sprit Ghana tour (posted September 16, 2017)
Having a chance to reflect on our recent trip to Ghana with Blood Drum
Spirit (with Wes Brown, royal hartigan, Art Hirahara, and filmmaker
Sara Pettinella), here are a few thoughts:
With this summer’s trip, this long-term project continues. The
quartet’s 2015 collaborations with master artists in Ghana, as well as
interviews and performances shot in the USA, were made into the
documentary film We Are One, Blood Drum Spirit, by director Sara
Pettinella. It will be released some day soon. The film catches a
decade’s long journey of musical exploration and friendship. Our
experiences with master drummer/teacher Abraham Kobena Adzenyah, master
dancer/teacher Kwabena Boateng and master drummer/dancer Freeman Kwadzo
Donkor go back to the early 1980s, when we played together in Talking
Drums. Last year Abraham retired from Wesleyan University after 45
years. (Wes, royal, and I, along with trombonist/teacher Bill Lowe,
were also known as JUBA back then).
On this trip, playing and spending time with both Abraham and Kwabena,
we had the chance to reminisce a little about some of our experiences.
But the music is alive and well, growing and changing. In the final
performance of the tour, at club +233, there was a seamless connection
between the jazz quartet and Ghanaian musicians and dancers. On this
trip we were able to collaborate again with Sulley Imoro, Tijan Dorwana
and his son Isaac Dorwana, Eric Owusu, and many others. Isaac said that
when he plays the gyl xylophone, he starts with the song, but that the
rest is improvised. While the traditions are different (from jazz), the
threads that connect the musics are strong, whether playing together on
songs and rhythms from Ewe, Ga, Lobi, Dagara, Asante, or Dagbamba
peoples, on our originals, or in free improvisations. During this trip
I continually learned about Ghana from Kwabena Boateng, Rev. Martin
Adi-Dako, (who led the filming in 2015, with cameramen Asamoah Simon
and Benjamin Cohn), and many others. We also had the chance to work
again with poet/multi-media artist Kwame Aidoo (AKA Kwame Write), and
with other poets. The last night, when Abraham played the atumpan
master drums on Adowa, if there had been a roof over the stage, it
would have lifted off and flown away.
The film We Are One will be released in the not too distant future.
Please keep an eye out. In the meantime here are links to the film’s
website and trailer. Also the Talking Drums recording Some Day Catch
Some Day Down, released twice on LP in the late 1980s, is available
again, re-mastered. It stands the test of time and is as infectiously
danceable and adventurous as ever.
Film website: http://www.weareonethemovie.com/
Talking Drums on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Talking.Drums.group/
Talking Drums CD on innova: https://www.innova.mu/albums/talking-drums/some-day-catch-some-day-down
Saxophonist drawing by Iliana Zamorska.
All rights reserved.