So much of Donny McCaslin’s “traditional” credentials provides the anchor for his much-admired work in more adventurous realms. Chief among these is the pianoless quartet Lan Xang and the quintet led by the widely lionized trumpeter Dave Douglas. Reviewing the Douglas Quintet in Jazz Times, Josef Woodard wrote: “He’s a versatile player who moves easily between inside and outside musical zones . . . [T]here’s a fluidity and grace to his playing even when he’s pushing at envelopes.”
Mr. McCaslin has proven himself a valued sideman on recordings by Danilo Perez, Luciana Souza, and performances with Tom Harrell, Brian Blade, John Pattitucci, The Mingus Band, and Pat Metheny. Albums under his own name have shown him subtly incorporating elements of Latin American music within adventurous jazz frameworks.
In 2006, Mr. McCaslin received a Doris Duke grant for new jazz composition from Chamber Music America; In Pursuit comprises the results of that work
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