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WBGO has David Gibson’s “Inner Agent” on its radar

mindset2When 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

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Downbeat hops on the trail blazed by Michael Dease on “Father Figure”

mindset2Michael Dease is an inventive trombonist with an athletically tuneful sound and a predilection for bringing his instrument’s voice to the fore. Having built the foundation of his career as a section player in bands led by Christian McBride and Roy Hargrove, he has now become a preeminent leader in his own right. Within his preferred artistic setting—the bop-oriented small group—he has recorded a number of fine recordings for Posi-Tone. Father Figure, his latest for the label, is as poignant a statement as he’s ever made. The album places Dease in the dignified role of jazz elder amid a crew of young and hungry jazz musicians: saxophonists Immanuel Wilkins and Markus Howell (who split lead duties on alternating tracks), drummer Luther Allison, bassist Endea Owens, vibraphonist Behn Gillece and pianist Glenn Zaleski, who appeared on Dease’s previous album, Decisions, and who exudes an almost telepathic bond with the trombonist. The two share the spotlight on an exceptionally swinging version of “Marian The Librarian,” and create swaths of dreamy magic on “Brooklyn.” And while Dease’s limber, flickering bop lines are an undeniable attraction (check the machine-gun tonguing on “Riff Raff”), it’s his ability to shape a group dynamic that really makes an impression. On group jams like “Church Of The Good Hustle” and Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation,” he blazes a trail that his young acolytes seem all too happy to follow.

BRIAN ZIMMERMAN   Downbeat site review

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Midwest Record like what they hear on “Inner Agent” by David Gibson

mindset2This trombone man almost has enough wind in him to sound like a big band by himself.  A high octane set with a mystical bent, Gibson smokes his way through this set delivering the kind of high energy blowing that is sure to put him on your list of those to keep an ear out for.  Obviously playing from the gut and the heart, this music connects and opens your mind as well as your ears.  Solid stuff from a cat that’s here to stay.

Midwest Record –