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...

4

Jon Davis: Happy Juice

David A. Orthmann By

Sign in to view read count
Whitney Balliett once wrote, "good musicians do not copy their elders; they only use them as primers." These are words to keep in mind while listening to Jon Davis' Happy Juice, a ten track recital that acknowledges a number of modern jazz piano masters (Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, and Red Garland) in terms of material and methods yet deftly eschews the weight of any single influence. Davis' style is at once pleasurable, mysterious, demanding, and familiar. Minor skirmishes between the left and right hands are settled amicably—or, not at all. Sometimes twisted, lopsided phrases and somewhat muted chords are inserted into otherwise straightforward lines. Davis swings (and executes other grooves) in a fairly conventional manner, but often gives the impression of stretching and contracting time, while bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Mark Ferber ably hold down the fort.

Throughout solos on the title track (Davis' composition) and Corea's "Tones For Joan's Bones," he's something of a master chef, constantly adding more exotic spices without making the dish unpalatable. Let your attention wander for a few seconds at the risk of discovering that he's moved on to somewhere else entirely. Davis' introductions to his "Bred On Red" and Jarrett's "Rainbow" are a study in contrasts. "Bred" thrives in a somewhat uneasy state, a series of riddles with no answers that nonetheless contain a connecting thread, several notes struck with an air of finality, until he finally shifts into something more congenial. "Rainbow" begins in a graceful, flowing, storybook manner befitting an evolution into a courtly waltz.

The leader's "As We Know" and Tyner's "Search For Peace" are given gospel-tinged treatments in odd meters. Throughout "As We Know" single notes and chords collapse against one another in companionable ways. Davis manages to wax soulful and friendly while remaining somewhat elusive. "Search" retains a solemn flavor even while Davis presses forward. Ferber's press rolls add a touch of grit to the head; near the track's end he spills and scatters rhythms around the leader's piano.

Jon Davis proves that the established practices of significant modern jazz pianists can still serve as the raw material for resourceful individuals intent on forging their own paths. Happy Juice is a bracing, highly enjoyable recording.

Track Listing: Happy Juice; Slant Six; The Two Lonely People; As We Know; Tones For Joan's Bones; Bred On Red; Speak Like A Child; Search For Peace; Mostly Minor; Rainbow.

Personnel: Jon Davis: piano; Boris Kozlov: bass; Mark Ferber: drums.

Title: Happy Juice | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Happy Juice

Happy Juice

Posi-Tone Records
2017

buy
Changes Over Time

Changes Over Time

Posi-Tone Records
2016

buy
Moving Right Along

Moving Right Along

Posi-Tone Records
2015

buy
Changes Over Time

Changes Over Time

Posi-Tone Records
2015

buy
One Up Front

One Up Front

Posi-Tone Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
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 Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
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 "3" CD/LP/Track Review 3
by Jim Worsley
Published: July 21, 2018
Read "Painted Pillars" CD/LP/Track Review Painted Pillars
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 7, 2018
Read "No Matter Where Noir" CD/LP/Track Review No Matter Where Noir
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Circumstances" CD/LP/Track Review Circumstances
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 5, 2018
Read "Wrong Turns And Dead Ends" CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Rumah Batu" CD/LP/Track Review Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018