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Jamie Davis: It

Jim Santella By

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Vocalist Jamie Davis is a veteran of the Count Basie Orchestra. So are several of the sidemen who appear on this pleasant big band album. As they interpret a dozen familiar songs, you can feel the memories returning. Davis' clear, resonant baritone voice takes you out for a night on the town, and it leaves you hoping that the evening will never end.

Surprisingly, It's a Good Thing is only Davis' second recording as a leader. It comes with a 38-minute DVD that includes brief conversations with just about everybody involved with the making of this album. It's nice to hear from the sidemen, as well as this relatively unheralded big band vocalist. He's been a fixture on the San Francisco jazz scene since 1975 and has circled the globe several times in the name of good music. His unique talent is certainly deserving of wider recognition.

With "Alright, Okay, You Win, one can't help comparing Davis to Joe Williams. They share a deep form of expression that goes right to the heart of the matter. Both have a classy vocal posture that makes each selection stand out, and both interpret the blues with genuine feeling. Davis has what it takes to carry on the tradition, and the band gives him capable support. The singer's interpretations are enhanced by thrilling solo adventures from band members, including Scotty Barnhart, Tony Suggs, Marshall McDonald and Shelly Berg. They make a great team, and Davis should consider touring with this lineup.

Track Listing: Isn

Personnel: Jamie Davis: vocals; John Kelson, Marshall McDonald: alto saxophone; Scott Jepperson, William Frenzel: tenor saxophone; Keith Bishop, Nancy Newman: baritone saxophone; Scotty Barnhart, Chuck Findley, Greg Adams, Robert Schaer, Michael Stever: trumpet; David Klein, Paul Young, James Lutz, Phillip Larson: trombone; Will Matthews: guitar; Shelly Berg: conductor, piano; Tony Suggs: piano; James Leary III: acoustic bass; Butch Miles: drums; Greg Errrico: claves, drums; Karl Perazzo: bongos; Tony Menjivar: congas; Roger Glenn: vibraphone, flute.

Title: It | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Unity


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