Dvora Davis: A Simple Affair (2009)
"There are days in my life when I feel so right... and I just want to sing my song," quoting the opening track of A Simple Affair, "There R Days." The entire CD is soaked with this melancholic yet optimistic mood. A simple affair, that's what it is all about. Dvora Davis and her accomplice, pianist Jochem Julius Braat, convey this feeling throughout the disctheir own creationwith Braat composing and arranging, and Davis in charge of the lyrics. The talented young pianist knows how to transfer the story inside the lyrics to music, in a very straightforward and clean waywhich is not a simple affair. Davis knows how to put the cherry on the top with her dark and husky voice, and story-telling phrasing.
An accomplished version of "Heaven Knows" is slightly reminiscent of "Heart and Soul" in its beat and harmony, as Davis takes it to the next level with her interpretation and melodic lines, in her own unique style. A dream-like nature scene intro to "Those Were the Days" follows, culminating in a staccato, medium tempo chase. Chasing a simple affair. Running away from the rain. The tempo alternating between chase, calmness and swing. Davis talks at a certain point, contrapuntal to the short synthesized melodic line, and trombonist Michael Rorby comes in with a nicely built solo.
In the up-tempo "One Night Stand," Davis and her crew cruise to South America, everyone complementing the track's title. Latin Romance. Braat's arrangementas is the case throughout the albumsurprises with its tempo and melodic changes, while keeping it clean and simple. And that is not a simple affair. "Winter in Berlin" begins funky, ultimately landing in a laidback Latin rhythm. The contrast between the two rhythms, and the space when funk comes in, is very well made and contributes enormously to the song's tension.
"Crazy for Love" has the old/new feeling of a jazz standard, despite being an original: romantic; super swingy, with that touch of a film noir. Overall Davis' album combines the feeling of a art-house black and white film, screened in 2010: dark, yet colorful and full of romance, tension, relief, serenity and groove.
Davis puts on her Billie Holiday suit for "My Man's Gone," while staying faithful to her own unique voice and style. It's a blues. It's blue. It's right to the point. It's an achieved rendition.
A Simple Affair is romantically pragmatic.
Track Listing: There R Dayz; Heaven Knows; Those Were The Days; Isms; Embrace; One Night Stand; A Simple Affair; Winter In Berlin; Song For Max; Crazy For Love; Cherrie Pie; My Man's Gone; Someone Like You; Rocks In Me.
Personnel: Dvora Davis: vocals; Jochem Julius Braat: piano; Luciano Poli: double-bass; Tijn Jans: drums; Michael Rorby: trombone; Pablo De Haas: alto saxophone.
Record Label: Self Produced