Marked by an adventurous, harmonically fluid style, alto saxophonist David Binney has established himself as a true original and critically acclaimed performer in progressive jazz. Emerging in the late '80s after earning a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, he released his debut album, 1991's Point Game. From there, he has collaborated on projects with such similarly inclined luminaries as Chris Potter, Donny McCaslin, and Uri Caine. A prolific artist, he founded his own Mythology label, and has continued to earn critical attention, including winning three Down Beat Critics Polls for alto saxophone.
Born in Miami, Florida, on August 2, 1961, he spent some time in Detroit while his parents, who were big music fans, were at Wayne State University. They introduced him to the music of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, Wayne Shorter, Jimi Hendrix, Milton Nascimento, and Sly & the Family Stone, among others. Growing up in the beach community of Carpenteria, California, Binney began formal studies on the saxophone with various teachers in nearby Los Angeles. In 1980, at the age of 19, he moved to New York City, where he was tutored by Phil Woods, Dave Liebman, and George Coleman. In 1989 he was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, using it to record his first CD, Point Game, in 1991 for the Owl label. He was a sideman for Aretha Franklin and Maceo Parker, was initially and briefly associated with the M-Base techno-funk crowd, and then formed a special partnership with tenor saxophonist Chris Potter.