New Generation Jazz: Binker Golding Band
The Verdict, Brighton
Friday 26th October, 2018
Saxophonist Binker Golding is probably best known for his duo work in Binker and Moses, as well as his sideman role with the likes of Zara McFarlane and Mr Jukes. Fronting his own band, he performed compositions from his forthcoming album Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers, many of which were still untitled. Some of the tunes were numbered, and appropriately they started the first set with ‘Song 1’ which featured an impressive opening bass improvisation from Daniel Casimir.
’Song 2’ (actually titled Exquisite green with apple) was further evidence of Golding’s gift for writing catchy melodic riffs coupled with harmonically interesting backgrounds.
‘Number 6’ had a lilting drum beat and a relaxed bass line with another catchy melodic line, and featured a solo from Daniel Casimir that developed Golding’s melodic idea throughout the whole range of the double bass.
Golding ended the first set, confusingly, with a tune entitled ’Number 1’ (not ‘Song 1’ but actually titled The Shadow embraced) that started with a virtuosic introduction from drummer Sam Jones using mallets and pressure on the drum skins to bend the pitch, before Casimir entered with another one of Golding’s memorable composed bass lines, before settling in to a groove that featured ska-like syncopations.
The second set mixed jazz standards in with Golding’s compositions. The opener, Harold Arlen’s My Shining Hour, featured a solo by pianist Sarah Tandy that was rich in dynamics and articulation, with a steady flow of interesting melodic ideas. ‘Number 3’ was, by far, the most radio-friendly, and will surely be heard on mainstream radio in the future.
Overall, the soloing was of a very high level of musicianship, with a lot of relaxed interplay and sharing of ideas.
Binker teaches at Tomorrow’s Warriors, assisting the next generation of jazz musicians, and his free workshop before the performance reflected his informal, laid-back approach. Focussing on the twelve bar blues format, he took the participants through the harmonic framework, before giving each one a chance to solo. Giving constant feedback to students throughout, his hands-on, practical approach enabled learning in a relaxed atmosphere.
Photo by Lisa Wormsley
Binker Golding, tenor saxophone; Sarah Tandy, piano; Daniel Casimir, double bass; Sam Jones, drums.