CD Review: Donny McCaslin "Fast Future"

Tenor-sax ace McCaslin delivers a superb follow-up to his Grammy-nominated 2012 side, Casting for Gravity, while fronting one of the most forward-thinking ensembles in jazz
By Chris Jisi ,

Tenor-sax ace McCaslin delivers a superb follow-up to his Grammy-nominated 2012 side, Casting for Gravity, while fronting one of the most forward-thinking ensembles in jazz: Tim Lefebvre on electric bass, drummer Mark Giuliana, and keyboardist Jason Lindner. Lefebvre and Giuliana are the spark, adding EDM rhythmic and sonic sensibilities in-between the sprawling themes of the title track and “Love and Living.” Elsewhere, “No Eyes” boasts Lefebvre’s backbeat-driven 16th-note line, leading to a wordless vocal peak; “Love What Is Mortal” rides his rock mon-tuno; “Underground City” percolates with the pair’s live drum-n-bass pulse; and “Squeeze Through” pivots on their dubby, ska-flavored rhythmic framework. Even the poignant ballad “Midnight Light” unfolds with a deep pocket and Lefebvre’s probing bass.