173

John Daversa: Junk Wagon:The Big Band Album

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
John Daversa: Junk Wagon:The Big Band Album Constant stimulation is the name of the game on Junk Wagon. Trumpeter/composer John Daversa delivers nine pieces that reflect the hustle and bustle of today's world, without resorting to any big band clichés of yore.

Each composition, with the exception of the balladic "Most Of All," is a stylistic hybrid, where scattershot elements and shifting ideas make for a fascinating and unpredictable musical journey. Daversa's fearless exploration of the large group format takes him off the beaten path, as he creates bold and ballsy big band music for the modern epoch.

"The Bridge (Part 1)" serves as Daversa's opening salvo, where shredding guitar work, walls of harmonic sound, funky bass lines, rocking drums, frolicking upper winds, rap-like vocalizations from Katisse Buckingham, and punchy sound fragments come together to create the first of many wild rides. Daversa's big band writing is certainly busier than most, but information overload is rarely a concern. He pushes the limits, as amply demonstrated by his audacious EVI (Electric Valve Instrument) playing, but he's also cognizant of what those limits are. Trying to absorb everything that happens during some of these mile-a-minute numbers is impossible at first, but that's part of the power of this music. Repeated listening helps to reveal new wonders that initially whiz by at lightning speed, making them impossible to notice.

While the rapidly shifting pieces get the heart racing, they don't always remain memorable. In contrast, when Daversa chooses to revel in stylistic continuity, his music can leave an indelible imprint. The swampy "Your Mother" is a swaggering thrill ride that features fun riffing and noteworthy soloing from the members of the trombone section, guitarist Zane Carney and several others, while "Most Of All" is a beautiful, "relax and take time to smell the roses" kind of piece, which shows off Daversa's gentler side.

While most big bands basically have the same basic working parts, no two composers put them together in the same way, and John Daversa's designs are as unique as they come. Junk Wagon is bursting at the seams with originality, making it a joy to hear from the first notes to the last.

Track Listing: The Bridge (Part 1); The Bridge (Part 2); Junk Wagon; Camels; Internal; Most Of All; Cheeks; Your Mother; Don't Jive The Hitman.

Personnel: John Daversa: trumpet, Electric Valve Instrument (EVI), vocals, piano; Jeff Driskill: alto saxophone, piccolo, flute; Phil O'Connor: alto saxophone, clarinet, soprano saxophone; Tom Peterson: tenor saxophone, clarinet; John Yoakum: tenor saxophone, flute, oboe; Bob Carr: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Ron King: trumpet; Bijon Watson: trumpet; Glenda Smith: trumpet; Rob Schaer: trumpet; Bill Booth: trombone; Charlie Morillas: trombone; Paul Young: trombone; George Thatcher: bass trombone; Jeff Babko: piano, Rhodes, Hammond B3; Zane Carney: guitar; Jerry Watts: bass; Gene Coye: drums; Katisse Buckingham: tenor saxophone, flute, vocals, tambourine (1-4); Kevin Garren: alto saxophone, clarinet (4, 7); Nancy Newman: baritone saxophone (7); Michael Stever: trumpet (3, 7); T.J. Tesh: trumpet (3); Joey Sellers: trombone (7).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: BFM | Style: Funk/Groove


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Hera" CD/LP/Track Review Hera
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!" CD/LP/Track Review Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966" CD/LP/Track Review Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966
by Doug Collette
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Warsaw Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Warsaw Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: December 4, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!