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...

5

Steve Davis: For Real

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
For lovers of straight-ahead jazz the Posi-Tone record label is a pretty safe bet, a mark of quality. Label owner and producer Marc Free seems to possess a knack for combining excellent musicians and high quality studios (aided and abetted by engineer Nick O'Toole) to create fresh and rewarding music.

Trombonist Steve Davis is one of those excellent musicians and For Real is his fourth album for the label. Davis' long career has seen him produce 16 previous albums as leader, while his sideman credits are extensive and include albums with Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and Art Blakey. For Real finds him once again in the company of pianist Larry Willis, bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Billy Williams, who all appeared on Davis' previous release, Gettin' It Done (Posi-Tone, 2012). Davis is joined on the front line by saxophonist Abraham Burton, a Grammy winner with the Mingus Big Band. The tenor and trombone combination works beautifully, the instruments complementing each other to boost the richness of the quintet's sound.

"Blues On Blues," written by pianist Larry Willis, is a pleasant tune that, unsurprisingly, gives the players a chance to show their bluesier side. The rest of the tunes are Davis' own compositions.

Mid-tempo groovers such as "For Real" and "Angie's Groove," the Latin swinger "Daylight" and the up-tempo, hard bop "Tactics"—which features tight, assertive solos from all five musicians—are irresistible chunks of fun: effortlessly swinging and positive tunes. They're impressive, as compositions and as performance, but it's the gentler numbers that really impress. "Nicky D" may have a similar tempo to "For Real" but there's more space (Burton sits this one out) and Davis' trombone sound is at its warmest and most inviting. "Days Gone By" finds the quintet in a meditative mood. It's a ballad that takes its inspiration from pre-bop rather than post-bop, with Burton's solo and Willis' comping proving central to its success. The easy-going romance of "I Found You" completes the trio of soulful tunes.

For Real is a superb album, an object lesson in small band jazz and a shining example of the trombonist's art. It can proudly take its place as one of the Posi-Tone label's finest releases—as a quick check of the label's catalog will show, that's quite an accolade.

Track Listing: For Real; Nicky D; Angie's Groove; Days Gone By; Big East; Blues On Blues; Tactics; I Found You; Daylight.

Personnel: Steve Davis: trombone; Abraham Burton: tenor saxophone; Larry Willis: piano; Nat Reeves: bass; Billy Williams: drums.

Title: For Real | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Tags

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.

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Correlations

Correlations

Smoke Sessions Records
2019

buy
Think Ahead

Think Ahead

Smoke Sessions Records
2017

buy
Say When

Say When

Smoke Sessions Records
2015

buy
For Real

For Real

Posi-Tone Records
2014

buy
 

Being Human

Babel Label
2013

buy
Gettin' It Done

Gettin' It Done

Posi-Tone Records
2012

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jul1Mon
Chick Corea | The Spanish Heart Band
Papp László Sportaréna
Budapest, Hungary
7900-25900 HUF

Related Articles

Read Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door Album Reviews
Legacy Alive, Volume 6 at the Side Door
By Mike Jurkovic
May 27, 2019
Read Higher Album Reviews
Higher
By Tyran Grillo
May 26, 2019
Read The Unlonely Raindancer Album Reviews
The Unlonely Raindancer
By Matt Parker
May 26, 2019
Read Pyramid Scheme Album Reviews
Pyramid Scheme
By Mark Sullivan
May 26, 2019
Read Mosaismic Album Reviews
Mosaismic
By Mike Jurkovic
May 26, 2019
Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019