All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

8

Tara Davidson: Duets

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Tara Davidson has continually expanded the size of her band to suit each of her recording projects. Until now, that is. After working with a quartet, a quintet, and a nonet on record, Davidson has gone the other way, trimming things back and releasing a collection of artful duets that pair her with some of her favorite musician friends.

Four of Davidson's six duet partners—tenor saxophonist Mike Murley, pianist David Braid, tenor saxophonist Trevor Hogg, and bassist Andrew Downing—have appeared on other Davidson releases. The remaining two—pianist Laila Biali and guitarist David Occhipinti—have developed strong connections to Davidson, having each worked with her in various settings over the years. Davidson remains the constant here, and it's fascinating to hear how her outlook changes depending on who she's paired with.

There's a sense of formal beauty behind Davidson's first meeting with Downing ("Kontrbas Semaisi"), cheer to be heard during a railway journey with Hogg ("Train To Tarrytown"), and some bop-influenced back-and-forth to behold during an encounter with Murley ("130 E. 39th Street"). Pensive beauty comes to the fore when Biali's piano and Davidson's soprano join together ("For Glenda"), cloistered (post-)modernism makes an appearance when Occhipinti and Davidson team up for a trip across the ice ("Silver Skate"), and Braid works two sides of the same coin, helping Davidson to create an odd-metered groove number at first, then switching to a streamlined-turned-feisty direction ("Lele's Tune Part 1" and "Lele's Tune Part 2"). Each of those numbers find Davidson changing her gait a bit while working in different spaces, but she still manages to maintain her sense of self throughout.

Other encounters with these figures help to further broaden the scope of the project. Occhipinti, for example, takes more of a rhythmic approach the second time around ("Murphy's Law"), there's a bit more mystery at work when Downing returns ("The Halcyonian Years"), and things are a bit sunnier when Biali's back on the bench ("The Good Earth"). Through it all, Davidson proves to be an artist with a wide emotional range, big ears, and strong communicative skills. Plenty of duet recordings are boring as can be, but this one is brimming with life.

Track Listing: Lele's Tune Part 1; Lele's Tune Part 2; Silver Skates; Train To Tarrytown; Kontrbas Semaisi; 130 E. 39th Street; For Glenda; Murphy's Law; Sheep Walking; The Halcyonian Years; The Good Earth; The Neigh-Sayers; Colebourn M.D.

Personnel: Tara Davidson: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Mike Murley: tenor saxophone (6, 9); Trevor Hogg: tenor saxophone (4, 12); Andrew Downing: acoustic bass (10), cello (5); Laila Biali: piano (7, 11); David Braid: piano (1, 2, 13); David Occhipinti: guitar (3, 8).

Title: Duets | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Addo Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Murphy

Murphy

Self Produced
2017

buy
Duets

Duets

Addo Records
2014

buy
Code Breaking

Code Breaking

Self Produced
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Trajectory" CD/LP/Track Review Trajectory
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 3, 2018
Read "Palmares Fantasy" CD/LP/Track Review Palmares Fantasy
by Chris May
Published: May 28, 2018
Read "The Cheap Ensemble" CD/LP/Track Review The Cheap Ensemble
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Code Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Code Girl
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Leading The British Invasion" CD/LP/Track Review Leading The British Invasion
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 31, 2017
Read "Dear Friend" CD/LP/Track Review Dear Friend
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: July 28, 2018