4

David Arnay: 8

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
David Arnay: 8 Los Angeles pianist/arranger/composer David Arnay releases his third recording as a leader in the theme-minded 8. Eight signifies both the number of selections on the disc as well as the sequential sum of instruments added to each performance, from solo to octet performance. So, the premise is Arnay adds one instrument to each piece as he ascends from one to eight.

Arnay's thematic approach is both clever and educational. He opens the disc with a swinging solo performance of Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol's "Caravan." Arnay's left hand is in total command of the piece while his right informs of the melody and improvisation. His solo is well constructed and optimally paced on this one of two standards among the eight selections. His sure command of the keyboard demonstrated here directs the remainder of the disc.

The addition of Edwin Livingston's bass on "11-12-11" and then drummer Peter Erskine on "Billville" illustrates the filling out of the standard jazz rhythm section. Livingston's sure sense of time and Erskine's generously considered drumming make a trio recording of the three very attractive. Arnay proves an ideal accompanist for the bass solo, knowing just how much filigree to supply beneath the bass.

Tenor saxophonist Doug Webb joins the trio, creating the time-tested horn-fronted jazz quartet on "Step Four." Arnay's composition harkens back to that hinge between hard and post bop, where rules and progressions did not fully give way to the greater freedom to come. Webbs tone is slippery and facile. The quintet offering, "Old Man Says" has Webb doubling on bass clarinet and adding percussionist Munyungo Jackson, who fills in some rhythmic silences. Jackson provides a vaguely ethnic mode overwhich Webb and Arnay modulate.

With the greater band complexity, comes richer and deeper composition and playing. the sextet arrangement of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" transforms the chordally dense piece into a breezy island sway highlighting Paco Loco's piquant guitar playing. Thematically well-developed, 8 wins points on both its invention and listenability. multi-reedist Webb shows off his wealth of skills just as Arnay redefines what "arrangement" means.

Track Listing: Caravan; 11/12/11; Billville; Step Four; Old Man Says; Giant Steps Six of One; Dream Groove.

Personnel: David Arnay: keyboards; Edwin Livingston: bass (2-8); Peter Erskine: drums (3-8); Doug Webb: tenor saxophone (4, 7), bass clarinet (5), soprano saxophone (6); reeds (8); Munyungo Jackson: percussion (5-8); Paco Loco: guitar (6, 8); Dan Fornero: trumpet (7, 8); Vikram Devasthali: trombone (7, 8).

Title: 8 | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Begin to Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Begin to Dance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Henrik Jensen's Followed by Thirteen: Blackwater
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "The Good Life" CD/LP/Track Review The Good Life
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 8, 2017
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "Twelve Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Twelve Moons
by Phil Barnes
Published: August 30, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.