Anthony Branker and Ascent, "Dance Music" a Treat for the Ears


Sign in to view read count
Anthony Branker's ensemble Ascent serves as a vehicle for his jazz writing and arranging. At the time of his new recording Dance Music (Origin 82579) it consisted of seven instrumentalist and a vocalist. What they do is modern jazz that has roots in the music McCoy Tyner and related players were doing in the early '70s, a sort of acoustic Afro-post-hard-bop if you will, with some ventures into funky things here and there. But before you start pegging them note that this is music that has been well thought-out. Branker never goes into things like funk or Tynerisms without bringing something to the situation that marks a distinctive ear for putting it together a little differently. It may be subtle but that's the point I think.

The seven-piece ensemble has star soloists in tenor-soprano-man Ralph Bowen and pianist Jonny King; Kenny Davis and Adam Cruz make for an effective bass-drums team; the ensembles are rich; and vocalist Kadri Voorand puts in some quite nice appearances.

What more to say? This is pleasing without pandering. It shows you that something can be solid and filled with good charts and well-burnished playing, and can still find general popularity, I should think. Nice job!

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of Gapplegate Music Review by Grego Edwards.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

Post a comment


Shop Amazon

Jazz News

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.