Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Carn Davidson 9: Murphy

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The "Carn" in Carn Davidson 9 is trombonist William, the "Davidson" saxophonist Tara. They are Canadians, as are the other seven members of their Toronto-based ensemble. They are also first-class musicians, an assessment that applies as well to everyone in the Carn Davidson 9.

This is apparently the second album by the nonet, which had been together for seven years when Murphywas recorded in 2017. This new enterprise encompasses eight original compositions, four each by Carn and Davidson. They are decorous and well-written but otherwise unremarkable; in other words, there is nothing the average listener is likely to be humming after the fact. The absence of a piano or guitar for rhythmic heft, they say, presents a challenge, and it is one that is never quite surmounted.

Carn's busy opener, "Try Again," seems to tread the sort of path that Gerry Mulligan might have followed had he remained with us for the past two decades. Brass and reeds are given a vigorous workout, complementing muscular solos by Carn, baritone Perry White and bassist Andrew Downing. Davidson's alto traces the melody on her handsome "Family Portrait," on which Carn solos again and the trumpets (Jason Logue, Kevin Turcotte) blend well with Carn, Davidson and the rhythm section to shape the coda. Carn's "Glassman" probes a darker side, deepened by Emilie-Claire Barlow's wordless vocal and White's bass clarinet. As soloists aren't listed, that's either Logue or Turcotte on trumpet.

Reckoning from the jacket's illustrations, Murphy is a cat, and a rather large one at that. The first of two themes that bring him into play is Davidson's "Murphy's Law," which hurries forward behind robust statements by White and one of the trumpets. Carn's "Second Act (for Ron)" is more sedate, with a pleasing melody enhanced by Davidson's high-flying alto and splendid work by the ensemble (especially drummer Ernesto Cervini). Davidson's sunny "Reason, Season, Lifetime" (cogent solos courtesy of Davidson and tenor Kelly Jefferson) and atmospheric "Colebourn" are next up before Carn rings down the curtain with the hard-driving "Murphy!," another ardent salute to the album's namesake.

As noted, there nothing on Murphy that invites censure; neither is there anything that sets it apart from or above comparable enterprises. It is well-played, well-written and well-ordered—in sum, an efficient session that never seems to rise above that. On the other hand, that is no more than one listener's opinion, and hardly the definitive paradigm.

Track Listing: Try Again; Family Portrait; Glassman; Murphy’s Law; Second Act (for Ron); Reason, Season, Lifetime; Colebourn; Murphy!

Personnel: Tara Davidson: co-leader, alto, soprano sax, flute, clarinet; Kelly Jefferson: tenor, soprano sax, clarinet; Perry White: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Jason Logue: trumpet, flugelhorn; Kevin Turcotte: trumpet, flugelhorn; William Carn: co-leader, trombone; Alex Duncan: bass trombone; Andrew Downing: bass; Ernesto Cervini: drums. Special guest – Emilie-Claire Barlow: vocal (3).

Title: Murphy | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Murphy

Murphy

Self Produced
2017

buy
Duets

Duets

Addo Records
2014

buy
Code Breaking

Code Breaking

Self Produced
2006

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Correlations Album Reviews
Correlations
By Peter Hoetjes
March 19, 2019
Read Schizophrenia: The Yang Project Album Reviews
Schizophrenia: The Yang Project
By Roger Farbey
March 19, 2019
Read Zyklus 1 Album Reviews
Zyklus 1
By Mark Corroto
March 19, 2019
Read Apotheosis Album Reviews
Apotheosis
By Chris Mosey
March 19, 2019
Read Silverthorne Album Reviews
Silverthorne
By Glenn Astarita
March 19, 2019
Read Absinthe Album Reviews
Absinthe
By Mark Sullivan
March 18, 2019
Read Chi Album Reviews
Chi
By John Ephland
March 18, 2019