Lucian Ban (piano)
Abraham Burton (ten sax)
Transylvanian expat pianist Lucian Ban and tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton present BLACKSALT, a unique jazz amalgamation of Transylvanian and Belizean folk, improvisations and original pieces that showcases their ongoing musical partnership.
Their collaboration in the powerhouse quartet ELEVATION (featuring Eric McPherson & John Hebert) has been called by All About Jazz “a triumph of emotional and musical communication” and their latest album Songs From Afar (Sunnyside) received 5* stars in Downbeat Magazine and was named a Best Album of 2016. The two have played countless concerts on both sides of the Atlantic and released several acclaimed albums. With BLACKSALT they bring that chemistry to the duo format, presenting a flux of songs and improvisations that reveals their shared interest in the poetry of sound.
It was once written in the New York Times by jazz columnist Peter Watrous, “If Abraham Burton were to be drawn in a caricature, there would be flames coming out of his horn…” Approaching three decades as a prominent figure on the jazz scene, world-renowned saxophonist and educator Abraham Burton’s passionate sound can still ignite a room filled with patrons. Abraham Burton has been showcased as a soloist on two Grammy award-winning albums and a featured musician on more than one hundred recordings. Throughout his career Abraham has performed and recorded with numerous contemporaries as well as legendary jazz artists including Rashid Ali, Kenny Barron, Walter Bishop Jr., James Carter, Michael Carvin, Santi Debriano, Rein de Graaff, Roy Hargrove, Louis Hayes, Roy Haynes, John Hicks,Terumasa Hino, Yosuke Inoue, Victor Lewis, Harold Mabern, Christian McBride, Jackie McLean, Mulgrew Miller, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, David Murray, Steve Nelson, Nicholas Payton, Alvin Queen, Larry Ridley, Wallace Roney, Jimmy Smith, Horace Tapscott, Arthur Taylor,Kenny Washington, David Williams and Jimmy Woode.
LUCIAN BAN was raised in a small village in northwest Transylvania, in “the region where Bartok did his most extensive research and collecting of folk songs” and grew up listening to both traditional and classical music. He studied composition at the Bucharest Music Academy while simultaneously leading his own jazz groups, and notes that his approach to improvisation has been influenced by “the profound musical contributions of Romanian modern classical composers like Aurel Stroe, Anatol Vieru and of course Enesco”. Desire to get closer to the source of jazz brought him to the US, and since moving from Romania to New York in 1999 his ensembles have included many of New York’s finest players all the while maintaining a worldwide touring schedule.
“Like Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner and other vanguard bandleaders of that era, the Romanian born pianist-composer Lucian Ban alongside intense saxophonist Abraham Burton favor searching post bop that cranes toward the avant-garde without losing the buoyance of swing” TIME OUT NY