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Angela Davis Quartet + Strings: Lady Luck

C. Michael Bailey By

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Saxophonist and one-time All About Jazz contributor Angela Davis' sophomore effort, Lady Luck shows a young artist evolving naturally and not afraid to take stylistic chances. On her debut recording, The Art of the Melody (Self Produced, 2013), Davis demonstrated an intelligent precociousness that paid off well in both her original compositions and those she covers. Inspired was her inclusion of Tom Waits' "Martha" and Boz Scaggs' "We're All Alone."

Just as inspired, on the present Lady Luck are the throwbacks "Make Someone Happy" and "You Must Believe in Spring." Davis adds a string quartet to her jazz quartet (that returns the fine Linda Ho on bass) effecting a "with strings" recording, except that the string quartet provides more of a counterpoint role than a typical strings recording. The string quartet is anchored by violins Sara Caswell, who seems to be everywhere at once in the last couple of years.

Davis' retains her beautiful Paul DesmondLee Konitz tone approximating glacial Bombay Sapphire rippled by the photons of some ancient sun. It is a beautifully nostalgic sound that is as relevant and immediate as right now. Davis has grown considerably in her arrangement prowess and solo ingenuity. The future belongs to artists of this caliber.

Track Listing

Make Someone Happy; You Must Believe in Spring; Lady Luck; Hymn for the Lonely; Nola’s Waltz; A Thousand Feet from Bergen Street; Till We Meet Again; Abide with Me.

Personnel

Angela Davis: alto saxophone; Dan Tepfer: piano; Linda Oh: bass; Richie Barshay: drums; Sara Caswell: violin; Joyce Hammann: violin; Lois Martin: viola; Noah Hoffeld: cello.

Album information

Title: Lady Luck | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

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