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David Binney & Edward Simon: Oceanos

Oceanos, the latest installment in a series of sessions co-led by American saxophonist Binney and Venezuelan pianist Simon, presents a perfect balance of sophisticated writing and creative improvisation. Make no mistake: There is some rhythmically and harmonically complex composition here. If jazz can be compared to literature-and whereas Kenny G is Nicholas Sparks-then these two guys are Salman Rushdie.

The leaders enlisted bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade to round out the central quartet, and got additional help from the Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, guitarist Adam Rogers, trumpeters Shane Endsley and Jesse Newman, trombonist Alan Ferber and percussionist Pernell Saturnino. For all the personnel, the music never feels too dense or weighed down. On the contrary, there is a lightness and airiness to it, much of it owing to Souza’s wordless vocals, which recall those of the great Milton Nascimento.

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