Charles Davis: Blue Gardenia (2003)
Now 70, Davis continues to exercise his instrumental voice as soloist; this time out he employs a 50-50 balance between baritone and tenor. The leader’s solo saxophone voice stands sweet and melodic, but the session turns uneven in places due to a few slips of pitch control on baritone. Cedar Walton, Peter Washington and Joe Farnsworth do more than their share to make up for it with a hands-down rock-solid foundation for each piece.
On tenor, Davis sends a lovely melodic message that calls upon his vast experience for flavor. “Texas Moon” recalls time he’s spent on the road with Hank Crawford, while “Blues for Yahoo” moves more in the hard bop direction of New York City. Yahoo is the producer’s dog, who must have inherited Charlie Parker’s up-tempo grit. Either that, or he simply reminded Davis of Bird’s unique soul. Blue Gardenia, a solid straight-ahead album, swings with tradition and a true, blues-based spirit.
Track Listing: A Beautiful Friendship; Texas Moon; Bossa Joe; Stranded; Shadow of the Sunset; Sabia; Blues for Yahoo; Blue Gardenia.; Sing Me Back Home; Lone Pilgrim.
Personnel: Charles Davis- baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone; Cedar Walton- piano; Peter Washington- bass; Joe Farnsworth- drums.
Record Label: Reade Street Records