by Willard Manus
outstanding newcomer is Benny Rubin Jr., a young saxophonist out of Detroit,
who is presently making waves in New York, where he plays regularly at
the Sound Bite, a jazz club in Hells Kitchen.
Rubin recorded his first album (Whats Next) in 2017;
now hes followed it up with KNOW SAY OR SEE, on which he plays with
brilliance and flair on eight tunes, five of which are his own compositions.
Accompanying him are three equally young and bold players: Lex Korten
(piano); Adam Olszewski (bass) and JK Kim (drums). Together they comprise
a quartet that is a harbinger of things to come.
Rubin kicks things off with Know, a slow blues that he turns
inside and out in inventive fashion. Its followed by intensely-played,
fresh-sounding versions of Darn That Dream and Kiss
Me Right. On Say, NYC Urge, Flint
Water Crisis and Down They Go, Rubin and his band-mates
kick out all the stops, playing in dynamic, free-flowing fashion that
calls to mind early Coleman and Coltrane. Somehow Rubin manages to top
himself on Or See, leading the way with gut-wrenching intensity
and improvisational skill.
KNOW SAY OR SEE got its name because, according to Rubin, It means
things that people dont want you to Know, Say or See. The
title aside, this album just might become a collectors item one