David Binney: Third Occasion
David Binney (alto sax)
Third Occasion (Mythology MR 0006)
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