2

Caroline Davis: Live Work & Play

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Caroline Davis: Live Work & Play It's easy to become jaded in an ocean of music where many recordings sound so much alike. But every now and then something piques even great curiosity, as is the case with Live Work and Play , the captivating debut by saxophonist/composer Caroline Davis. Her abilities as a musician and leader signal not just another new voice, but one that is acutely focused, reminiscent of another striking female Chicagoan, saxophonist Matana Roberts.

The factors that have shaped Davis come out of seminal experiences: she was born in Singapore to European parents, and was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where she grew up listening to gospel and R&B. It could be her academic achievements—degrees in Psychology and a Ph.D in Music—the late night jam sessions at the New Apartment Lounge with esteemed saxophonist Von Freeman, or finding inspiration from guitarist Bobby Broom's trio at Chicago's Pete Miller's Steakhouse.

In the end, it's not only Davis's soulfully fluent playing that resonates, but also her tightly knit quartet, which works through cerebral originals like the swinging opener "Kowtow" and the groove-aesthetic of "Passive Cloud," as well as the bright re-envisioning of Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count." In each case, these consummate musicians— longtime Von Freeman guitarist Mike Allemana and the equally potent rhythmic core of bassist Matt Ferguson and drummer Jeremy Cunningham—deliver inventiveness and vigor.

Whether working through the melody changes in "Dionysus," tinted by Allemana's undulating tremolo and echo effect colors; getting some soulful blues swagger in the "Real Rims, For Kalvin" (part 3 of Davis's "Rims" mini-suite); or swinging true on Charlie Parker's "Cheryl," the quartet is inspired and articulates the striking art of jazz. Allemana's contribution is noteworthy; he's the perfect foil for Davis' expressive horn and delivers some killing solos, as do the other band members. His "Academic Freedom Suite, Part 1" is one of the album's many bright spots—a slow- tempered theme which ignites into a firestorm showing his copacetic chops and some of Davis's most fervent playing.

Live Work and Play is totally fresh debut and highlights Davis as a gifted and empathetic player who warrants a closer look.

Track Listing: Kowtow; Passive Cloud; Blood Count; Dionysus; Old Rims; Shiny Rims; Real Rims, For Kalvin; Craftsmanship and Emptiness, For Rumi; The Academic Freedom Suite, Part 1; Cheryl.

Personnel: Caroline Davis: alto saxophone; Mike Allemana: guitar; Matt Ferguson: bass; Jeremy Cunningham: drums.

Title: Live Work & Play | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: ears&eyes Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Trail Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Trail Magic
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Nomad" CD/LP/Track Review Nomad
by Nick Davies
Published: April 18, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!