08 David Leon Birds EyeDavid Leon – Bird’s Eye
David Leon
Pyroclastic Records PR 32 (pyroclasticrecords.bandcamp.com)

Captivating and distinctive aspects of the music of two cultures on opposite sides of the world unite and intertwine on Miami-born, Brooklyn-based saxophonist and reedist David Leon’s latest album. Experimental yet cohesive, freeing yet still grounded, this record is a musical experience that brings both the casual listener and avid contemporary, avant-garde jazz fan into a whole new world of storytelling and imagery. Leon is debuting a new trio on this release, bringing in percussionist Lesley Mok and Korean-born gayageum player Do Yeon Kim. All songs are composed by the saxophonist himself and highlight his skills as a composer very well. 

Perhaps the most intriguing part of this album is how Leon manages to bring together Afro-Cuban and Korean traditional music and intersperse jazz-esque riffs and, at times, grooving rhythms within his compositions. Listening to Nothing Urgent, Just Unfortunate for example, the Korean flavour is brought in with plucked traditional yet modern sounding rhythmic bits courtesy of Kim, soaring melodious saxophone riffs harken back to experimental jazz and Mok’s propulsive drumbeats underpinning it all unite it into a unique whole. The Afro-Cuban influence is why this album is so rhythmically focused, since that is a significant part of that traditional music scene. An interesting aspect that really jumps forward throughout the pieces is how each musician brings their culture and heritage into the compositions. The record is literally an outward reflection of these talented individuals.

Pin It

Back to top