Recommended: Binker and Moses – “Journey To The Mountain Of Forever”


There’s a fascinating interplay between the two discs that comprise the newest recording by the duo of Binker & Moses.  At its heart, this entirety of Journey To The Mountain Of Forever is a duo recording between tenor saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd.  But this particular heart is big and its blood flows strong in many directions, and so when the second disc expands from the first disc’s duo session to an expanded ensemble, the music beats with the same pulse and the blood carries the same flow… it’s just a matter of conveying a wider range of textures and expressions of beauty.

For instance, the speedy groove that results from the saxophone-drummer duo’s approach on “Intoxication From The Jahvmonishi Lea” is borne from the same seed that blossomed “The Valley of the Ultra Blacks,” but the latter lights things up with everything the expanded ensemble has got.  In that same way, Tori Handsley‘s harp opens a door into serenity on “Gifts From the Vibrations of Light,” but its undercurrent of tension is a mainline straight from the duo’s fiercely burning embers on “Leaving the Now Behind.”  And the celebratory dance of “Fete by the River,” which Boyd and Moses give a calypso streak, feeds off the same source of charm as the cheery “Ritual of the Root,” which gets an infusion of blues courtesy of Byron Wallen and his trumpet.

Bringing in the saxophones of Evan Parker generates massive dividends.  Parker’s twisting strands of melody on “Voice of Besbunu” commingle with those of Golding’s sax, and in combination, the result is something greater than their individual contributions.  And the extra percussion from the drums and tabla of  Yussef Dayes and Sarathy Korwar light things up with a relentless demeanor on “Entering the Infinite,” but it’s how they accentuate the spirituality and grace of “Echoes From the Other Side of the Mountain” that truly resonates like mad.

But those examples of differentiation are eclipsed by the wonderful cohesion between the first note, the last note, and all the notes in between.  Perhaps there’s no better example of this than the spiritual jazz cries of opening track “The Departure” and the spiritual jazz sighs of the album finale “At the Feet of the Mountain of Forever,” and how they convey that the beauty and life so evident in the beginning of this album is the same felt at the very end.

Your album personnel:  Moses Boyd (drums), Binker Golding (tenor sax), Tori Handsley (harp), Sarathy Korwar (tabla), Evan Parker (tenor & soprano saxophones), Byron Wallen (trumpet) and Yussef Dayes (drums).

Released on Gearbox Records.

Listen to more of the album on the label’s Soundcloud page.

Music from London.

Available at:  Amazon | eMusic