143

Dave Fox: ORM & If These Songs Could Talk

By

Sign in to view read count








Gratkowski/Fox/Menestres/Davis
ORM
Umbrella
2007


Dave Fox Group
If These Songs Could Talk
Big Dog Applewood
2007




Pianist, composer and teacher Dave Fox demonstrates his diversity on these two fine issues. Often on the quiet end of the improvisational spectrum, his attention to sonority and timbre is excellent and he is sympathetically partnered in both configurations.

ORM finds Fox on the path of freedom, similarly to last year's collaborative Foxbourne Chronicles or his gorgeously introspective solo disc, Dedication Suite. Always deeply drawn to harmony, even in its most abstract manifestations, he couldn't ask for a better partner in saxophonist Frank Gratkowski. Listen to the opening gestures of "Bedo , where Fox echoes Gratkowski's trichord assertion in kind, bassist David Menestres commencing and concluding the phrase with authoritative slaps. On the title track, Gratkowski's long alto tones seem to grow out of Fox' chordal punctuations, while drummer Ian Davis and Menestres provide a soft bed of brushwork and arco insinuations on which the others explore.

Gratkowski is as much a rhythmatist as a melodist and he spends the disc veering between Fox' rhapsodically linear musings and Davis' rhythmic intricacies — no mean feat and highly successful. "Euvl finds him initially in Davis' camp, sharp and rhythmically precise exhalations nevertheless accenting Fox' chords and lines. In fact, Fox and Davis might be seen as the axis on which the disc turns, Menestres and Gratkowski lending support, texture and color where necessary, the dialectic ensuring a fascinating and gratifying listen throughout.

The new Dave Fox Group offering If These Songs Could Talk presents a history lesson filtered through Fox' sensitive and sometimes whimsical take on improvised music. Standards are reworked with fascinating results, such as the moody "Cherokee , now in five! "I'm in the Mood for Love is harmonically rich if a bit sterile, but it's well worth a listen for Fox' pianism alone.

The more recent tunes are uniformly interesting and well executed, "Profile coming off particularly well with some fine rock 'n' roll drum thumping in alternation with skitter-and-swing cymbal articulations from Marc Ryan Dale. Guitar and piano combos can lead to disaster, but Chip Newton and Fox manage quite nicely, the former clearly in Fox' harmonic sphere, providing excellent timbral backing on the laid-back but eerily funky "Doppler .

In sum, Fox would do well now to follow any of the paths explored on these discs, each presenting a different aspect of his talent and vision.


Tracks and Personnel

ORM

Tracks: BEDO; CAIRN; EUVL; LON; MAJC; ORM; PHP; HLT.

Personnel: Frank Gratkowski: alto saxophone, clarinet; Dave Fox: piano; David Menestres: double bass; Ian Davis: percussion.

If These Songs Could Talk

Tracks: Catch Me; Profiles; I'm in the Mood For Love; Acclimation; Hackensack; Petrouch Doppler; Cherokee; Mrs. M.f.; Imagination; Penultimate Tango; Night Cry; Going Out of My Head.

Personnel: Pat Lawrence: acoustic bass; Chip Newton: guitar; Jon Marc Ryan Dale: drums; Dave Fox: piano.


Shop

More Articles

Read Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read Lee Morgan On Music Matters Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF" Multiple Reviews Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "The Unity Sessions / Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" Multiple Reviews The Unity Sessions / Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos" Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Three New Releases from Peter Kuhn" Multiple Reviews Three New Releases from Peter Kuhn
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!