When trombonist David Gibson put out “Boom” last year, one listen and you knew this guy likes working with no net. Told me the feeling was exhilarating to make music this way. It’s also quite fulfilling to listen to and see live, something I made sure happened with David Gibson.
With “Inner Agent”, Gibson’s upcoming release from Posi-tone Records, the trombonist says, “This recording is a natural continuation of what we began with “Boom”. There are more risks taken and more trust present in the performances.”
Returning are pianist Theo Hill, bassist Alexander Claffey and drummer Kush Abadey. We hear Freddie Hendrix this time on trumpet, and the additional artistry of tenor saxophonist Doug Webb and Caleb Curtis on alto sax.
With a backstory that includes time spent on the bandstands of Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis and James Moody, Gibson and group can go gorgeous, then slide into something fun & funky, or big, bad and bold.
The leader talked selection of a tune like Dr. Billy Taylor’s “I Wish I Knew” by explaining, “I first heard this song sung by Nina Simone in the documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? In the documentary she is asked what freedom was to her. She responded, “Freedom is… NO FEAR.”
The group’s sanctified feel is full of that trust that fills this entire record.
As you might expect, there are a couple of nods to trombone master Curtis Fuller with “The Court”, which gives all a chance to get out on the open road, and “Sweetness”, with the warmth of the group’s swing and sway given a nice feature.
George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun” is a grand closer for the nine tunes on David Gibson’s “Inner Agent”. The release is a compelling “come together” of some pretty serious talent, who trust each other well enough for us to have a great time listening.
– Gary Walker, Morning Jazz – WBGO WBGO radar