Auction Project – Slink

It’s jazz, but then it’s something else. Slink (David Bixler, 2014) is a collection of nine songs, many with Irish or Celtic roots.

The group is headed by David Bixler, alto saxophone; and Heather Martin Bixler, violin. The rest of the band are Arturo O’Farrill, piano; Carlo De Rosa, acoustic and electric bass; and Vince Cherico, drums and cymbals.

“Bear Island Reel” opens the set. It’s a moderate groove with the sax and violin stating overlapping phrases during the melody. In the notes, the song is described as an early Irish version of the Funky Chicken. Bear Island is a location off the south of Ireland, where composer Finbar Dwyer grew up. A reel, explained in the text, is a folk dance. The Bixlers carry the lead during the main theme, making use of overlapping phrases. The violin is out front for a good bit of the first third of the song, before stepping aside for sax and piano solos. When the song reverts to the main theme, sax has the melody all by itself, with the violin ad-libbing and the piano putting in extra emphasis here and there.

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