Lowell Davidson: Lowell Davidson Trio (1965)
The music on this record, in particular Davidson's compositions and his pianoforte is complete in every sense and would have been as remarkable as the bebop phraseology of someone like Bird, when both were first heard. Almost mimicking the human voice that is singing in short thrilling phrases, Davidson's songs are like vocal necklaces comprising gorgeous gem-like beads of notes in elaborately decorative chains of provocative combinations. Strung together almost endlessly in hitherto unheard of designs, the music strikes the consciousness as the soft felt of the hammers of the piano are tapping in the nerves of the brain just as they do the myriad and perfectly tuned strings inside the body of the piano. Davidson can be elegant, as on "L," elegant and majestic on "Stately 1" childlike and playful on "Dunce" and "Ad Hoc" and almost like a chorister on "Strong Tears." In that respect, this is a definitive work that captures in essence the entire pianist's beliefs and channels them through a many emotions in these songs.
The composition of the trio is also quite inspired. There appears to have been a symbiotic relationship between the other playersbassist, Gary Peacock, percussionist, Milford Gravesand the pianist. Davidson's superior harmonic sense is beautifully reflected in the manner in which Graves, for instance, employs dynamics to explore tonal colors and rhythmic textures. Although he displays this exquisite sensibility throughout very good examples of this are heard on "L" and "Stately." Peacock achieves no less a state of rarified elegance playing both pizzicato and con arco, especially on "Ad Hoc." Note his and Graves' rumbling bass, punctuated by bright splashes on various cymbals, a perfect foil for Davidson's complex forays into the heart of the song's theme.
Although it is nearly impossible to single out any on song that defines the album, one might hazard a guess that this is "Stately 1," where Davidson is statuesque and often pirouettes, making his solos almost like ballet. In retrospect it may very well be likely that this record is so intuitively complete that it is very likely there may never have been a possibility of another recording by this artist.
Track Listing: L; Stately 1; Dunce; Ad Hoc; Strong Tears.
Personnel: Lowell Davidson: piano; Gary Peacock: bass; Milford Graves: percussion.
Record Label: ESP Disk
Style: Beyond Jazz