Steve Davis: Portrait In Sound
Brad Mehldau, Avishai Cohen and Jeff Ballard help Davis to produce the album's best moments. Dancing gracefully through modern mainstream concepts, the rhythm trio sets the stage for solo improvisation. Davis, Mehldau and Cohen weave cohesive excursions that infuse deeper interest into the session.
Steve Wilson's alto sax and David Hazeltine's Fender Rhodes make "The Slowdown" an interesting change of pace. Breathy and pensive over a bouncing rhythm, Wilson and Davis shuffle their way through a cool strut. With timbres that eschew aesthetic beauty, the ensemble provides a landscape strewn with natural passion. Take a breath. Exhale. It's natural. Art comes in many forms. Tone quality, as well, comes in many shades. Davis applies more air to the formula on slower ballads. Consequently, tunes such as "Darn that Dream" and "The Slowdown" run the risk of becoming breathy and dull.
Elsewhere, the session turns up-tempo. Seven of the ten tracks are Davis' originals. When bopping in tandem with Steve Nelson's vibes, the trombonist shines brightly. Davis is in good company for his Stretch Records debut. In time, the 33-year-old New Yorker will grow, iron out all the wrinkles, and paint many more portraits in sound.
Track Listing: Portrait in Sound; I
Personnel: Steve Davis- trombone; Steve Nelson- vibraphone; David Hazeltine- piano, Fender Rhodes; Nat Reeves- bass; Joe Farnsworth- drums; Steve Wilson- alto saxophone on "The Slowdown," alto flute on "I Found You;" rhythm section on "I Found You" and "Shadows:" Brad Mehldau- piano; Avishai Cohen- bass; Jeff Ballard- drums.
Record Label: Concord Music Group