Jon Davis: One Up Front (2013)
Davis put together a well-balanced program of originals and standards for this, his Posi-Tone debut. He delivers a performance of pianist Horace Silver's "Strollin'" that lives up to its name, puts odd metered twists on "How Deep Is The Ocean" and "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," and flies through Cole Porter's "You're The Top," which is powered by drummer Shinnosuke Takahashi's light-and-propulsive ride cymbal work. Davis also proves capable of ruminating on the theme of imagined love during an engaging performance of "My Ideal." The originals, which include a burning "This Joker's A Smoker," the mellow-swinging title track, and bassist Joris Teepe's bossa-tinged "Candid Camera," prove equally appealing.
Davis, Teepe and Takahashi prove to be a well-matched threesome in every way. Together, they wind their way through various musical settings, paying great attention to touch, balance and mood; when some trios play standards, whether packaged in run-of-the-mill fashion or arranged to their liking, they sound like they're phoning it in, but these guys never sound like that; Davis and his trio mates fully invest themselves in every performance on the highly pleasing One Up Front.
Track Listing: Strollin'; How Deep Is The Ocean; Candid Camera; This Joker's A Smoker; No Kiddin'; One Up Front; You're The Top; My Ideal; Sir Dude; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.
Personnel: Jon Davis: piano; Joris Teepe: bass; Shinnosuke Takahashi: drums.
Record Label: Posi-Tone Records