David Bindman

DAVID BINDMAN is a saxophonist, composer, and pianist. His works combine many elements, including the movement of dance, exploration of the complexity of melody, time unbound, and emphasis on improvisation at its core. Inspired by travels of discovery, transformation, as well as sounds and sights close to home, his new works combine old and new musical forms. They incorporate rhythmic cycles and modalities that are influenced by musics from India, West Africa, and other parts of the world. Bindman was heard on the recordings The Way of the Saxophone and Far Side of Here, (Omnitone) and Blood Drum Spirit Live in China (Innova). His work has been called’smart and fun, and multiculturally funky’ by Alexander Varty, Georgia Straight, and ‘truly an merging of wide sound…tuneful the last’ by Andy Bartlett, Cadence. Bindman strives to make work that is artistically free from the profit-driven imperatives, which threaten life, deny justice, and go against the spirit of the human being and the natural world. Bindman started playing the violin when he was five years old, and switched to alto-sax at age ten. He then began playing drums at age 12. He listened to the ‘Hot Clarinets,’ a recording that his grandmother gave to him, John Coltrane’s albums, ‘Traneing In,’ and ’Crescent, as well as the music of the musicians he saw performing in Englewood, NJ (including Dizzy Gillespie). Bindman, a Vermont high school student, began to improvise and compose. He formed an ensemble with Ben Wittman, drummer, and Jim Sugarman, pianist. Stephen Horenstein was his saxophonist, and he was invited to Bennington College by Bill Dixon and Arthur Brooks to participate in their ensembles and classes. In the 1980s, Bindman attended Wesleyan University, where he studied with Bill Barron, a saxophonist, and Bill Lowe, as well as with Wesleyan’s World Music Department master artists. Talking Drums was his band, which was led by Ghanaian master drummers Abraham Adzenyah, and Freeman Donkor. Bindman toured the United States in 1987 and recorded Some Day Catch Some Day Down, an Innova reissue. Bindman, along with Wes Brown, bassist, and royal hartigan, was part of the JUBA collaborative ensemble. He also recorded and performed with New Dalta Ahkri and trumpeter Wadada Lee Smith during this period. Bindman, who has lived in New York since 1987 is involved with many projects, ensembles and collaborative work. Tyrone Henderson has collaborated on multimedia works that combine spoken word with musical scores and visuals by Quimetta perle. These include ‘The Madman’ and ‘Strawman Dance’. Performance Space 122, Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Green Room in Manchester, UK. Cadence Magazine Editors’ Choice 1994 was the CD Strawman Dance (Konnex 1994). Bindman, Kevin Norton, and Joe Fonda formed their trio in 1997. Ted Bonar, Modern Drummer, wrote that Bindman, Fonda, and Norton were great at finding musical moments, attacking them, and breaking down traditional grooves into small glass shards. There was plenty of room in their trio to do this. Bindman and Wes Brown continue to collaborate, recording BloodDrumSpirit (Innova), and performing in the USA. He also developed work that incorporates South Indian solkattu and Javanese gameslan. Bindman and Fred Ho co-founded the Brooklyn Sax Quartet in 1995. The BSQ released Innova (The Way of the Saxophone) in 2001. Reuben Jackson, Jazz Times’ Jazz Times writer describes the BSQ ‘… as “the stitch work of a master tailor. The lines between improv/composition are wonderfully blurred.” Derek Taylor describes the quartet’s music ‘…dynamically conceived group saxophone compositions by a quartet of reed giants’. Steve Loewy wrote that Bindman’s pieces “reflect a cool and complex, visionary model for artistic endeavor” (All Music Guide). Far Side of Here (Omnitone 2005) ‘[T]his concise, direct, and passionate playing portrays an eager cultural affinity to which all of us hope to achieve’ (Dennis Hollingsworth Jazz Improv Magazine). Fred Bouchard wrote that “[I]nspired Writing fuels the group…cofounder David Bindman pens an virtuoso turning on Dizzy Gillespies’ ‘A Night In Tunisia’ lightning variations on ‘Spinning’, and reggae asides to ‘Jajo’ (Downbeat). The BSQ performed Bindman’s arrangement for Hector Berlioz’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ live at Joe’s Pub at Public Theater in 2003. The BSQ has been on three trips to Canada and the USA, and was described as a ‘powerful and worldly ensemble’ by Nat Chinen (New York Times). Bindman started composing extended suites for sextet in 2006. They draw on the western classical, African American and global music traditions. Sunset Park Polyphony is a reflection of the many languages spoken and the sounds made by children in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Complex rhythmic forms and multiple time levels are used in the work. The introductory melodic Alapana (rubato form), is based on the pantuvarali raga, a Hindu devotional raga. The Landings Suite is six-part work. It follows an imaginary character as he travels to the outer reaches to find the truth of life. He returns to earth to face the reality of life, to teach and to plant trees. This piece features gahu rhythms of the Ewe people in Ghana. These works were premiered by the ensemble in concert in Brooklyn, sponsored by Brooklyn Arts Council. The ensemble recorded Sunset Park Polyphony in October 2010. It will be released in March 2012. The David Bindman ensemble features Frank London on trumpet, Reut Regiv, trombone and Art Hirahara on piano. Wes Brown plays bass, royal hartigan, drums and David Bindman is tenor and soprano Saxophones. Recent activities include workshops and performances in Sweden with the quartet Stockholm Sodra, as well as workshops and performances in the Philippines with Blood Drum Spirit. Fred Ho and Adam Lane recently released Bindman recordings. Bindman was born 1963 in New York City. In 1985, he graduated from Wesleyan University. He also received a Masters in World Music in 1987 from Wesleyan. He has been awarded grants by the Brooklyn Arts Council and the Queens Council on the Arts. Meet The Composer and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music Performing Ensembles. He has taught at The New School University, Bennington College and LaGuardia Community College in New York City, as well as master classes in Canada and the USA. from http://www.davidbindman.com

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