Wed July 4, 2018
Jazzfest Wien

Binker & Moses (GB)

Binker Golding: tenor saxophone
Moses Boyd: drums

Binker and Moses: Journey to the Mountain of Forever review – incandescent, infectious immediacy

It may have a portentous title (a genuflection to the spiritual and very influential 1960s jazz of John Coltrane), but the second album by the prize-winning young London sax-and-drums pairing of Binker Golding and Moses Boyd is the diametric opposite of earnest: it’s the seductive sound of spirited improvisers letting off steam. Binker and Moses emerged from vocalist Zara McFarlane’s backing band, and this double-vinyl set continues their duologue – soulful tenor sax sermons plus earthily funky drumming, fusing jazz, hip-hop and grime. It adds an expanded lineup on the second disc, including free-sax pioneer Evan Parker, trumpeter Byron Wallen and harpist Tori Handsley.

The duo’s tracks winningly mix dark, classic Coltrane raptures, infectious hook-rooted rockers and Sonny Rollins-like calypsos (Fete By the River). The larger group sets up thrilling rhythm textures merged from Parker’s seamless soprano lines and a chatter of snare drums and tablas; there are atmospheric guitar-like harp figures, and dramatically spontaneous two-tenor tussles for Golding and Parker. The no-frills, no-edits production only adds to the incandescent immediacy. (John Fordham, The Guardian)