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...

71

Caroline Davis: Heart Tonic

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Reared in Chicago where she attained her PhD in Music Cognition at prestigious Northwestern University, alto saxophonist / composer Caroline Davis recently migrated to New York, while nestling into its fertile jazz and improvisational environs. And while this vibrant quintet date is perhaps more conventional than some of her freer works, Davis' complex harmonic fabrications ring loud and clear via these noteworthy compositions. Moreover, the album title refers to Davis' heart research to obtain a better understanding of its properties due to her father's heart ailment, serving as a principal force behind this production.

Davis' effervescent attack is often tempered by her warmly articulated phrasings and contrasted by soaring climactic buildups amid sinuous and knotty unison choruses executed with trumpeter Marquis Hill. However, the group abides by a democratic mode of operations; hence, the artists' teamwork is evident throughout the production. As the quintet imparts lovely melodies and balances the tightly coordinated frameworks with variable currents, modulating cadences, speedy bop movements, dabs of jazz fusion and the Latin element.

The quintet blends a piquant Afro-Cuban groove into an airy, yet buoyant vibe, along with zesty soloing spots by the frontline on "Loss." Yet the following track "Constructs," is an invigorating, up-tempo bop sojourn and "Air," is an cheery ballad, solidified by bassist Tamir Shmerling's pliant bottom-end and drummer Jay Sawyer's gentle cymbal swashes and snappy rim-shots. However, the primary theme implicates a march progression, expanded by Julian Shore's animated piano solo, leading to melodic subplots as the band steadily raises the pitch with an upward trajectory, followed by a soothing fadeout.

The album finale "Ocean Motion," is formed with intricate percussion treatments within a simmering Latin motif, including knotty unison phrasings and the hornists' extended notes, shaded by Shore's dark synth passages. But the musicians rebuild the primary theme with regal statements and movements akin to fitting pieces into a puzzle, intensified by Sawyer's burgeoning press rolls and polyrhythmic undercurrents.

Even though Davis hovers near a straightforward modern jazz approach it's not a grassroots effort where everyone plays it safe, partly due to her vast musical resources, distinct creative sparks and multidimensional approach to composition. Whereas, her band rises to the occasion with great aplomb and a penchant for dishing out meticulous plot developments on a continual basis.

Track Listing: Footloose and Fancy Free; Loss; Constructs; Fortune; …TuneFor; Penelope; Dionysian; Air; Ocean Motion.

Personnel: Caroline Davis: alto saxophone; Marquis Hill: trumpet; Julian Shore: piano, Fender Rhodes, Yamaha DX7, Roland JD-Xi; Tamir Shmerling: acoustic and electric bass; Jay Sawyer: drums. Special Guests – Rogerio Boccato: percussion (2,9); Benjamin Hoffmann: organ (4,5).

Title: Heart Tonic | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
What I'm Listening to Now
General Articles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Heart Tonic

Heart Tonic

Sunnyside Records
2018

buy
Doors: Chicago Storylines

Doors: Chicago...

ears&eyes Records
2016

buy
Live Work & Play

Live Work & Play

ears&eyes Records
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road CD/LP/Track Review
Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 25, 2018
Read 8 Songs CD/LP/Track Review
8 Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Facing Dragons CD/LP/Track Review
Facing Dragons
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 25, 2018
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 "What’s to Come" CD/LP/Track Review What’s to Come
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 28, 2018
Read "Live In Vienna, December 1st, 2016 (UK Edition)" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Vienna, December 1st, 2016 (UK Edition)
by John Kelman
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "Audacity" CD/LP/Track Review Audacity
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 30, 2018
Read "Takunde" CD/LP/Track Review Takunde
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 8, 2017
Read "Live at U of T" CD/LP/Track Review Live at U of T
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Not Two" CD/LP/Track Review Not Two
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 14, 2018