Down Beat review of Within Worlds-4 + 1/2/ stars

Down Beat review of Within Worlds-4 + 1/2/ stars

"We've long known what musical freedom sounds like outside the confines of harmony, melody and strict rhythm. Jon Gordon seems intent on finding the wilderness inside. Using personnel variations of a chamber setting on original material, the saxophonist and his group explore linear contour ( "Joe Said So"), simple structures ("Visit"), and ones with involved changes ("Havens") and tonal center flotation ("New Eyes"). They remind us that exploration and expressionism need not involve torrential distortion. the one "wildman's dream" - as Billy Higgins used to call them-is "Notes on Fascism", a brief but fierce three-way exchange with guitarist Ben Monder and drummer Billy Drummond skirting the rhythm altogether.
These players are as interested in keeping the pulse loose and fluid as they are in finding the right note to hit. An occasional dissonance from Gordon's alto or soprano adds to the tonal tang. Melody is seldom far from his motives, yet he's not after pretty or sentimental turns of phrase. The eerie theme voicing of Monder's guitar, Kevin Hay's piano and Gordon's soprano on Within Worlds imparts a distinct ennui before Gordon and Monder play a long, parallel line. Monder and Hays do the improvising here, with Bill Stewart's drums turning the flame up or down. Gordon follows with "Sicily", a gritty alto workout over Gary Versace's stringent organ chords. Lest the album be taken as an intellectual exercise, these blues sizzle, albeit with a personal syntax. Versace refers briefly to 1930's radio shows, followed by a melodic drum solo by drummer Mark Ferber. While this is a horn showcase, it's also an ensemble exchange. Gordon has created a multi faceted statement that invites repeated investigations. He's onto something important."- 4 + 1/2 Stars-Kirk Silsbee- Down Beat

Press quotes

"Jon is one of the greatest alto players ever"

- Phil Woods

"Gordon has embraced the history of his instrument, carrying with it the ability to extend music as a universal language"

- Wayne Shorter

"Not only a great soloist, but also possesses a gorgeous tone."

- Kenny Washington

..."a masterful young altoist with a brilliant future ahead of him".

- Joe Lovano

"One of the finest musicians of his generation and deserves a great deal more recognition than he has received from the jazz media."

- Ken Dryden

4 + 1/2 Stars-"Gordon has created a multifaceted statement that invites repeated investigations. He's onto something important."

- Down Beat