David Binney: Third Occasion


Third Occasion


David Binney (alto sax)


Third Occasion (Mythology MR 0006)

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David Binney (alto sax), Craig Taborn (piano), Scott Colley (bass), Brian Blade (drums),

Ambrose Akinmusire, Brad Mason, Corey King, Andy Hunter (brass section)


Composed by David Binney


Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, August and December 2008


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

The title is from a passage in Graham Greene's novel The Heart of the Matter (1948). "To be a human being one had to drink the cup. If one were lucky on one day, or cowardly on another, it was presented on a third occasion." Reportedly, the author did not much care for his own book. Nevertheless, the themes of individuality, responsibility, pity and pride, and the role of government and the church in those areas, interested many people. A movie, starring among others a young Peter Finch, was filmed in 1953.

Greene's novel presumably made a strong enough impression on saxophonist David Binney to inspire a long, introspective and probing musical creation. The tune's introductory passages suggest doubt. Binney and the brass section play some captivating but brief melodic riffs. Bassist Scott Colley is the first to solo, his style traditional and pleasing, not quite as dark as some of the music that accompanies it. Binney offers plenty of angst in his own solo. Some tortured feelings exist, not in the sense of causing pain, but rather the torture of self-doubt. Binney's squeezed-out wails are the equivalent of primal screams. This is not upbeat music. Binney and his fellow musicians have produced a thought-provoking piece that can't help but move you in one direction or another. Your individual needs will determine which direction that will be.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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  • 1 David Binney // Feb 22, 2009 at 08:00 PM
    Hey Walter. Thanks for the review. I am really glad you liked the music. While I put everything into the making of this music,the inspiration comes from other places. It wasn't inspired by the Greene book, which i have not read actually! I got the quote from a book I did read and that is Gallatin Canyon by Thomas McGuane. He used that quote in that book and I really liked the words. I am glad the music inspired the imagination though. Which is the point! Thanks again! Best, Dave Binney
  • 2 Walter Kolosky // Mar 01, 2009 at 03:36 PM
    Thanks for clearing that up David. I took the time to locate the original quote not realizing that McGuane had quoted Greene in his own book and that is where you had read it. My bad. But you are right, those are good words. And your album is good music. Thanks.