A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.
Although altoist David Binney is the leader of the quintet on Out of Airplanes (Adam Rogers only plays guitar on two numbers), the dominant force is actually Bill Frisell. Without Frisell's wide variety of otherworldly sounds and effects, the music would have sounded radically different. The originals alternate between free-form noise, rock-like vamps and introspective ballads, with some selections being all three.
For his fourth Criss Cross leader date, alto saxophonist-composer David Binney convenes his primary New York working quartet of the 2000s (pianist Jacob Sacks, bassist Eivind Opsvik, and drummer Dan Weiss), adds to the mix guitar hero Wayne Krantz, with whom he works frequently in an electronica-oriented group, and augments the proceedings with several appearances by British pianist-composer John Escreet, a frequent partner in recent years. The leader plays with deep emotion and the concision of an old master; it's as strong a date as any in Binney's now sizable discography.
Lifted Land, David Binney's sixth recording for Criss Cross, is also his third wholly original program for the label. One of the most gripping and distinctive alto players and composers of his generation, Binney leads a powerfully expressive quartet with longtime allies Craig Taborn on piano and Eivind Opsvik on bass. Drummer Tyshawn Sorey, an acclaimed leader and composer in his own right, makes his first Criss Cross appearance here, in place of Binney?s go-to drummer for previous releases, Dan Weiss. Binney's tunes are anthemic, evocative, highly precise and finely crafted and yet prepared to venture into the freest abstract terrain.
Examples of the Turkish pictorial arts outside the Topkapu Saray Library in Istanbul are rare—a well-known fact that Dr. Binney demonstrates again in his introduction to this catalogue. Why so rare? For one thing, this art never achieved widespread support or appreciation within the Turkish empire. It was fostered only by the sultan's court and kept within the confines of the royal establishments…