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Anthony Branker and Ascent

Together

ORIGIN 82627
CURRENTLY #66 ON JAZZWEEK RADIO CHART

“With a unique combination of depth and accessibility, Branker is able to put forth a jazz perspective steeped in soulful optimism.”
- All About Jazz

Composer and Princeton Professor Anthony Branker brings together saxophonists Mark Gross & Ralph Bowen, pianist Jonny King, bassist Kenny Davis, and drummer Donald Edwards for a powerful, swinging quintet date on his fourth Origin Release. Driven by an infectious rhythmic sensibility, lyrical melodies, and sophisticated harmonic underpinnings, this recording of soulful performances is another outstanding addition to Branker's fast growing and musically rich discography.

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TRACKS:

1. Unity (6:00)
2. For Woody & Bu (9:14)
3. Little Rascal (6:19)
4. Saaremaa (8:07)
5. That Was Then ... (8:13)
6. Song of We (6:02)

PRODUCTION:

Produced by Anthony Branker
Recorded by Mike Marciano
Recorded and mixed at Systems Two Recording Studios, Brooklyn, NY
on 6/7/2012
Mixed by Mike Marciano & Anthony Branker
Mastered by Mike Marciano
Session photography by Gulnara Khamatova
Cover design & layout by John Bishop

PERFORMERS:

Mark Gross - alto & soprano saxophones
Ralph Bowen - tenor saxophone
Jonny King - fender rhodes
Kenny Davis - acoustic & electric bass
Donald Edwards - drums
Anthony Branker - composer & musical director

REVIEWS:

emusic Review (Dave Sumner)
Trumpeter Anthony Branker has spent recent years focusing solely on composing and in the director’s chair, and its yielded as strong a discography as anybody’s in the last decade. In addition to his Word Play ensemble, Branker also has Ascent, which features a quintet of Mark Gross on alto & soprano sax, Ralph Bowen on tenor sax, Jonny King on Fend ...
The Jazz Word (John Barron)
Composer Anthony Branker continues his pattern of assembling a first-rate group of musicians to interpret his works on Together, his fourth release for Origin Records. This rhythmically charged set features saxophonists Mark Gross and Ralph Bowen, along with the rhythm section of Jonny King on Fender Rhodes, Kenny Davis on upright and electric bass ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
This is quite the achievement. This sounds like Branker's friendliest record yet. He pulls off the dandy feat of merging art and commerce making creative jazz that could leap to mass appeal. Straight ahead without an ounce of any kind of pandering, Branker leads his charges through a galloping date that really packs a wallop. With a pair of saxes ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
This is quite the achievement. This sounds like Branker's friendliest record yet. He pulls off the dandy feat of merging art and commerce making creative jazz that could leap to mass appeal. Straight ahead without an ounce of any kind of pandering, Branker leads his charges through a galloping date that really packs a wallop. With a pair of saxes ...
All Music (Ken Dryden)
Anthony Branker's recordings with his group Ascent have followed a familiar format, utilizing a small group to interpret his originals. For this 2012 recording, he replaces piano with Fender Rhodes, played by Jonny King (a veteran of several earlier Branker CDs), tenor saxophonist Ralph Bowen and bassist Kenny Davis (both of whom have played on sev ...
Downbeat Magazine (Kirk Silsbee)
Composer Anthony Branker has six of his songs played by a capable ensemble, but he curiously takes credit as "musical director" as well. Presumably that means he handled the arrangements, but what else? Listening alone doesn't make it clear. What is clear is that this is a good, if not groundbreaking, small band jazz album. The tunes bring to ...

 

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