Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Alto saxophonist David Binney has established himself as a true original and critically acclaimed performer in progressive jazz of modern times. Born in Miami, FL, August 2, 1961, he spent some time in Detroit while his parents, who were big music fans, were at Wayne State University. They introduced him to the music of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, and Wayne Shorter, Jimi Hendrix, Milton Nascimento, and Sly & the Family Stone among others. Growing up in the beach community of Carpenteria, CA, Binney began formal studies on the saxophone with various teachers in nearby Los Angeles. In 1980 at the age of 19 he moved to New York City, where he was tutored by Phil Woods, Dave Liebman, and George Coleman. In 1989 he was awarded a grant form the National Endowment for the Arts, using it to record his first CD, Point Game in 1991 for the Owl label. He was a sideman for Aretha Franklin and Maceo Parker, was initially and briefly associated with the M-Base techno-funk crowd, and then formed a special partnership with tenor saxophonist Chris Potter. Binney was a member of the short-lived but innovative ensembles Lost Tribe, and Lan Xang with fellow saxophonist Donny McCaslin, was with Uri Caine's Gustav Mahler and J.S. Bach Projects, the Drew Gress-led combo Jagged Sky, the Maria Schneider and Gil Evans orchestras, and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Audioquest released his second album as a leader The Luxury of Guessing in 1995. He started his own record label, Mythology, yielding albums Free to Dream and the first Lan Xang CD (1998), as well as Welcome to Life (2004) and Out of Airplanes (2006). The 2001 recording South for the ACT label brought Binney's collaboration with Potter to full fruition. He's also led sessions for the Criss Cross label on Bastion of Sanity (2005) and Cities and Desire (2006), and for the Italian Red label on Afindad (2001) and Fiestas de Agosto (2005), while Lan Xang issued a second disc for Naxos records in 2000. A follow-up on ACT, Balance, from 2002 found Binney teamed again with McCaslin. Among the many musicians he has worked with; Jim Hall, Bill Frisell, Joel Harrison, Steve Bernstein & Sex Mob, Mark Turner, Craig Taborn, Leni Stern, Alex Sipiagin, Thomas Morgan, Dan Weiss, Kenny Wollesen, Eivind Opsvik, Edward Simon, Jacob Sacks, Cecil McBee, Brian Blade, Scott Colley, Adam Rogers, Wayne Krantz, Tim Lefebvre, Fima Ephron, Jim Black, Bobby Previte, Jeff Hirschfield, Ben Perowsky, Ben Monder, David Gilmore, Lonnie Plaxico, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, James Genus, Rodney Holmes, Nate Wood, and Lucia Pulido. David Binney performs regularly at the 55 Bar in New York City, a gig he has held for a decade.