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...

236

Steve Davis: Images

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Images is trombonist Steve Davis' love letter to his hometown of West Hartford, CT. The ten pieces he wrote for the album, and which make up his "Hartford Suite," are all dedicated to people or places associated with this geographic region. While Davis' penchant for crisp swing and clear, lyrical lines plays a big part here, some compositional cunning—and some pieces that fall outside this general area—helps to keep things from falling into a stylistic rut.

Dedicated to bassist Nat Reeves, the mid-to-up-tempo swing of "Nato" possesses a persistent, four-note figure that drops in as the parade of soloists pass along. "The Modernist" plays off of oddly placed accents, slightly obscuring an otherwise straightforward feel, while the horns stretch out over some cymbal rolls and arco bass before the music starts to cook on "Twain's World." A phrase with a cycling rhythm leads into the solos here, putting Davis and trumpeter Josh Evans in the spotlight. "J Mac's Way," dedicated to Jackie McLean, features some of pianist David Bryant's most absorbing solo work on the album, while the bass hook at the start of the waltzing "Mode For Miantonomoh" is an instant attention grabber. Bryant's zeal adds a lot to this track, bit its alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo who is the standout soloist, showcasing his unique phrasing and style.

While the first half of the album has plenty to offer, the two tracks that seem to rise above the rest are on the latter half of the recording. Davis admittedly acknowledges the Billy Strayhorn influence on "Rose Garden," a ballad that exudes all of the tender sophistication and class associated with that genius of jazz composition. While Davis and DiRubbo carefully shape their lines to fit the song's mood, bassist Dezron Douglas provides some thick bass notes that hang, seemingly suspended in mid-air, behind them. "Park Street" has an infectiously joyous, party-like vibe, and uses a Latin groove as its rhythmic framework, set behind a 12-bar blues-like progression. All the soloists take things up a notch here, and Douglas' solo is bursting with creative energy. While familiarity with the city of Hartford would probably yield a unique appreciation for this album, the musical images presented here can easily stand on their own.

Track Listing: Nato; The Modernist; Twain's World; J Mac's World; Mode For Miantonomoh; Rose Garden; Tune For Calhoun; Park Street; Kenney's; Club 880.

Personnel: Steve Davis: trombone; Mike DiRubbo: alto saxophone; David Bryant: piano; Dezron Douglas: bass; Eric McPerson: drums; Josh Evans: trumpet, flugelhorn; Kris Jensen: tenor saxophone (10).

Title: Images | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
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
Images - The Hartford Suite

Images - The Hartford...

Posi-Tone Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Unit[e]" CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Synesthesia" CD/LP/Track Review Synesthesia
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 29, 2017
Read "Minor Step" CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Words And Music" CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Transatlantic" CD/LP/Track Review Transatlantic
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018