Devorah Day: Light of Day (2003)
The music has a spare, soulful mood that intoxicates the listener. Its feeling is created in part by the unusual instrumentation: in addition to Day's vocals, there's Brown on alto sax, Booker T and Jorge Sylvester on both tenor and altos, and bassist David Colding. The lack of piano and drums combined with the horns' low tones creates a great deal of space, but although the music is slow and spacious it is never tentative. And it's a pleasure to hear Brown: after a long, illustrious career, his playing on this session taps the essence of his talent, his pure tones coming straight from the heart.
Light of Day draws from a variety of sources: Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Dindi," Jorge Sylvester's "Lila," three originals by Day and the highlight, the standard "Lover Man." The song starts with Day singing several verses a capella; the listener is captivated by her emotional authenticity, and curious what she'll do next. The horn playing is deep and immediate, and overall it's a lovely update on a classic. Also notable is her fresh take on "Dindi," and the original "Freejam"; she's joined on the latter by Kid Lucky, a human beat box who adds a modern element that never detracts from the emotional consistency.
Abaton Book Company is a unique label that has an ear for the unusual combined with a deep commitment to its artists. It has a particular appreciation for female vocalists who stretch boundaries, so Day is a natural addition to the roster. The material came to the label via Bernard Stollman, founder of the legendary label ESP-Disk; Abaton brought in Elliott Sharp to do the remastering, adding a further layer of excellence.
The CD satisfies in terms of musical ideas and musicianship, and in addition achieves a consistency of mood that allows the listener to connect emotionally. Day is a talent with many layers, and Light of Day is just the beginning of her fruition.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .
Track Listing: 1. Lila (Sylvester/Wale ) - 6:00 2. Come Closer (Day ) - 6:11 3. Our Bit of Piddling (Day ) - 2:22 4. Lover Man (Davis/Ramirez/Sherman ) - 8:49 5. Dindi (Jobim ) - 3:55 6. Freejam (Day ) - 8:15
Personnel: Marion Brown: Alto Sax; Booker T. Jones: Alto and Tenor Sax; Jorge Sylvester: Alto and Tenor Sax; David Colding: Bass
Record Label: Abaton Book Company