Every jazz generation has its own Tommy Flanagan, an unheralded player that finally steps into the spotlight and everyone wonders how he has been hiding in plain sight all these years. With Moving Right Along, a follow up to One Up Front (Posi-Tone, 2013) pianist Jon Davis takes center stage with an assured sense of swing and a sumptuous way with a jazz vocabulary.
Leading his own trio with bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Shinnosuke Takahashi, he negotiates a few standards, some discerning pop tunes, and five original compositions. Judging his approach is best taken up with his his covers of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. The latter's "Moment's Notice" is taken at a gentler pace revealing Davis' sweet-tempered disposition. Same for his solo mediative take on Monk's "Reflections." Davis plays with patience and an imperturbability that suggests he would sound this way playing for an audience of one or a packed concert hall.
He brings out his inner Tommy Flanagan with a lovely take of the Lennon/McCartney piece "She's Leaving Home." The trio brushes away all frippery for the essence of the music (and remembered lyric), and more importantly it swings. Davis has a way with the blues here, and on his slow-cooked piece "The Beauty And The Blues" that weaves a proper garment out of just a few threads. The outward-swinging pieces, "Dania" and the title track reveal a dexterous approach that keeps his refined touch intact.
Moving Right Along; Under The Stairway; Moment's Notice; Beauty and The Blues; I've
Never Been In Love Before; Reflections; She's Leaving Home; Portrait of Tracy; Dania;
Just In Case; Pensive Puff; I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues.
Jon Davis: piano; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Shinnosuke Takahashi: drums.