Amazon.com Widgets

Roger Davidson Trio: We Remember Helen (2012)

By Published: | 3,130 views
Roger Davidson Trio: We Remember Helen How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The music business holds claim to more than its share of selfish, self-promoting, greedy individuals who built their fortunes on the backs of others but, within its ranks also exist a certain class of individual that truly looks out for the best interests of the music and the people who make it. Helen Keane, by all accounts, was one of the good ones.

Keane, who started out as an A&R scout for CBS and MCA, was best known as the guiding light that directed pianist Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
' career from 1963 until his untimely passing in 1980. Her work in support of this now-iconic figure would have been enough to establish her as an important behind-the-scenes presence in the music arena, but her efforts didn't stop there. When she wasn't helping to shape the Evans legacy, during his lifetime and beyond, she produced records for artists like trumpeter Art Farmer
Art Farmer
Art Farmer
1928 - 1999
flugelhorn
, reed man Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
b.1948
saxophone
and singer Chris Connor
Chris Connor
Chris Connor
1927 - 2009
vocalist
. She was also a champion for unsung women in jazz and she inspired many-a-musician to branch out into different stylistic realms; pianist Roger Davidson is one such artist. Keane's encouragement led to Davidson's first jazz recording—Ten To Twelve (Soundbrush, 2006)—which she happily produced. While she sadly passed before the record ever saw the light of day, Keane can be credited for lighting an eternal jazz flame in the heart of its creator.

Now, twenty years after Davidson and Keane teamed up, the pianist pilots an outing that honors Keane's memory. Davidson enlisted longtime bass companion David Finck
David Finck
David Finck
b.1958
bass
, who played on the Keane-produced session, and classy drumming exemplar Lewis Nash
Lewis Nash
Lewis Nash
b.1958
drums
to help him craft a tribute to Keane and, by default, Evans. Davidson gives Evans his due by performing material associated with ("Yesterdays"), or written by ("Waltz For Debby") this master, but he doesn't play à la Evans. Davidson has a more straightforward, this-is-me approach to the piano trio that runs counter to Evans' introspection and organic flow.

Swing serves as the main course during this fifteen track feast, but the side dishes add some flavor variety. "All The Things You Are" comes with Brazilian backing, the title track provides a taste of melancholy packaged in faux-spiritual fashion, a bluesy 12/8 feel underscores "Soul Search," and a New Orleans snare drum groove enlivens "Joshua Fought The Battle Of Jericho." "How Deep Is The Ocean" is capped off with a rhapsodic but controlled ending that takes it beyond the pedestrian, and "Dance Of Faith" comes off like music from a high-spirited prayer meeting.

Davidson hasn't created anything new or radical here, but he's lovingly crafted a program of well-performed material that highlights his piano handy work and heartfelt appreciation for Helen Keane. We Remember Helen is a highly agreeable, in-bounds trio affair that serves as a fitting tribute to a woman who championed jazz and the individuals who created it.

Track Listing: Yesterdays; What's New; Whisper Not; Charade; A Tune For Helen; We Remember Helen; Beautiful Love; How Deep Is The Ocean; Soul Search; Joshua Fought The Battle Of Jericho; Dance Of Faith; The Way He Captured You; Early Autumn; All The Things You Are; Waltz For Debby.

Personnel: Roger Davidson: piano; David Finck: bass; Lewis Nash: drums.

Record Label: Soundbrush Records


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

A musician was found with a matching name

Name:

Birthday:

Instrument:

Is this you?