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The Way Through

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (8 ratings)
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The Way Through album cover
01
Skyward
6:01
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02
San Lorenzo
2:49
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03
Shadowlands
6:31
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04
I Should Care
5:59
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05
The Way Through
7:50
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06
Break Tune
3:57
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07
Free California
3:22
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08
Fe Fo Fi Fum
5:40
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09
What Remains
4:36
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10
Woody And You
3:30
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11
Flutter
5:46
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 56:01

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They Say All Music Guide

Donny McCaslin is a musician in constant evolution who moves on without looking back, and The Way Through documents another important stage in his career. Built around a core trio featuring drummer Adam Cruz and bassist Scott Colley, the session has a lot to offer. The saxophonist is truly emerging as a singular voice — he shows a lot of integrity and delivers genuine emotion. His improvisations do not follow a predictable path, which is most evident in sparser situations. “Free California” and “Flutter” are exciting duets featuring Dave Binney as a sparring partner. On the former they intertwine looping and spiraling figures, while on the latter the two saxophonists run a course on parallel paths ideally complementing each other. Moreover, the leader is not afraid of taking chances with a challenging reading of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Woody and You” performed as an unaccompanied solo. The session also proves that McCaslin has honed his skills as an arranger and composer. He relishes working with textures and exclusively uses Anders Bostrom’s flutes and Douglas Yates’ clarinets for colors. Cruz’s percussions are often overdubbed, the steel pan and marimba providing unusual sonorities. McCaslin’s originals are usually based on accessible and yet complex melodies full of atmosphere. “Break Tune” is an off-kilter and intriguing ballad that also offers a sample of the leader’s soprano playing, while “What Remains” looks for new ways to incorporate dissonance. The album also hints at things to come, most notably through an acknowledged interest in world music — “San Lorenzo,” which showcases singer Luciana Souza, relies heavily on Brazilian influences. In a nutshell, this brilliant session is a clear evidence of McCaslin’s all-around talents. – Alain Drouot

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