3

Billie Davies: All About Love

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Idiosyncratic drummer Billie Davies is mostly an autodidact whose natural talent, relentless, explorative spirit and multifaceted experiences have led to an innovative approach to jazz. Her bold individualism is showcased on All About Love, a collaborative effort that has her democratically guiding an unusual, bottom- heavy ensemble with lyrical trombonist Tom Bone Ralls and versatile bassist Oliver Steinberg.

Davies creates complex motives and blurs the distinction between melody and rhythm on such pieces as John Coltrane's "Naima" and the minimalistic second take of the Mongo Santamaria classic "Afro Blue Too." Her rich harmonies contrast nicely with the atonality of her own "High Noon" that flirts with the avant-garde. The tune also demonstrates the intense camaraderie that drives the intrepid and unpredictable group interplay.

These intelligent three-way conversations, with their musical twists and turns, endow the two short originals, "Green Cheese" and "Burst," with a deliciously surreal atmosphere as Ralls' earthy and expansive trombone blows over the rapidly evolving tapestry of tight bass and drum cadences.

Ralls angular style does not sacrifice any of his warmth and lyricism on "Stella by Starlight," and his bluesy embellishments remain highly cerebral on "Afro Blue." His muted sound still swaggers on Miles Davis' fusion-esque "Jean Pierre." The track also features Steinberg's soulful electric bass and Davies' edgy and swinging kit work.

Steinberg is equally adept on the acoustic version of his instrument, as he amply demonstrates with a complex pizzicato solo on "Stella by Starlight Too." His cool and dependable grooves anchor band mate Ralls' theme, "Downtown in the Rain."

On this third release as a leader, the Belgium native/California-based Davies demonstrates a mature temperament as she skirts the edges of modal and free extemporizations with her delightfully singular trio. The intimate yet progressive music on this too brief album is like modern poetry, mordant yet sublime.

Track Listing: Stella By Starlight; Downtown in the Rain; Jean Pierre; Naima; Afro Blue; Green Cheese; Burst!; High Noon; Afro Blue Too; Stella By Starlight Too.

Personnel: Billie Davies: drums; Tom Bone Ralls: trombone; Oliver Steinberg: bass.

Title: All About Love | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Art

Art

Billie Davies
Perspectives II

Palm Trees

Palm Trees

Billie Davies
On Hollywood Boulevard

The Girl In The Window

The Girl In The Window

Billie Davies
On Hollywood Boulevard

v. The Shark In The Hand

v. The Shark In The Hand

Billie Davies
Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The...

Meeting Manitas

Meeting Manitas

Billie Davies
~ 12 VOLT ~ (Promotional...

Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Perspectives II

Perspectives II

Self Produced
2018

buy
On Hollywood Boulevard

On Hollywood Boulevard

Self Produced
2016

buy
Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon

Hand In Hand In The...

Cobra Basement
2015

buy
12 VOLT

12 VOLT

Cobra Basement
2013

buy
All About Love

All About Love

Self Produced
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Requiem for a New York Slice Album Reviews
Requiem for a New York Slice
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 22, 2019
Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019