REVIEW/ PHOTOS : Binker Golding and Moses Boyd at Foyles

Binker Golding (L) and Moses Boyd (R) at Foyles
Photo credit: Paul Wood

Binker and Moses
(Foyles Bookshop 6th Floor Stage, 3rd June 2016. Review by Sebastian Scotney. Photos by Paul Wood)

Saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd have been winning everything.  They won the Jazz Award at the MOBO Awards last October for their debut album as a duo Dem Ones (Gearbox). Since then they have won two JazzFM Awards in April, and a Parliamentary Award last month.

That album was just a start. They have got out and gigged, and that consistent work together as a duo has enabled them to strengthen and deepen the collaboration as the months have gone by. The hour-long set I heard on Friday at Foyles presented most of the material that they have ready for their follow-up album, which is about to be recorded, and is provisionally set for a release in early 2017. The duo are at the stage where the  tunes don't have names yet, but everything else seems completely in place.

Binker Golding at Foyles
Photo credit: Paul Wood

They now have the confidence to play stronger and louder, but also more quietly and intimately. Their material has found more variety and range, and they somehow seem to trust it more, The jejune spoken introductions to tunes are a false signal: musically, there is a palpable feel of increased professionalism, assurance, confidence.  Binker doesn't need to go quite so often to the full-voltage intensity which was the memorable hallmark of earlier performances.  Along with this assurance and variety goes a willingnessfrom him to try out more saxohone sound worlds, from keening Garbarek to gruff tough Texan tenor. The shape of the numbers is easier to follow, with Moses Boyd underlining and punctuating extremely effectively, and the listener can eavesdrop on a friendly,  uninhibited and understandable conversation. The numbers go all the way from a wailing tune reminiscent of  Hendrix' Hear My Train A Comin' to the gentlest of calypsos where Boyd made subtle use of rims and the gentlest of taps on the drum body.

 Moses Boyd at Foyles
Photo credit: Paul Wood
That as-yet nameless calypso might prove the most popular thing which emerged. It is the kind of infectious tune which is definitely going somewhere. Exactly where, who knows. It could fit instantly as the signature for a TV sport or business programme. Wherever it crops up, it is a safe bet that it is going to get heard.

Binker and Moses might not match the haul of gongs which crowned the success of their first album, but musically they have left their Dem Ones phase well behind. The duo is in pastures that are both new and very promising indeed.

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