Seen from Above

COMPOSERS: Donny McCaslin
LABELS: Arabesque Jazz
PERFORMER: Donny McCaslin (ts), Ben Monder (elg), Scott Colley (b), Jim Black (d)


Donny McCaslin is in his early thirties and already a consummate musician with a refreshing melodic flair. He’s also an excellent composer with his own genre-bending faculty and his eight compositions have terrific variety. The title track, inspired by Olivier Messiaen’s music, begins as a brooding ballad but erupts into a passionate affirmation. ‘Second Line Sally’ has a New Orleans dancey-dancey snare drum rhythm and is joyfully funky. ‘These Were Palaces’ has a spare, mysterious theme and hypnotic atmosphere. The rhythm section is exemplary and the performances and solos of the quartet are totally absorbing.