All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Murphy

Murphy

Self Produced
2017

buy
Duets

Duets

Addo Records
2014

buy
Code Breaking

Code Breaking

Self Produced
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Bitter Suite CD/LP/Track Review
The Bitter Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Ornettiquette CD/LP/Track Review
Ornettiquette
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Astral Revelations CD/LP/Track Review
The Astral Revelations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 18, 2018
Read The Sound Of The Earth CD/LP/Track Review
The Sound Of The Earth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2018
Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read "Solo a Genova" CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Doug Collette
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "Anecdotes II" CD/LP/Track Review Anecdotes II
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Departures" CD/LP/Track Review Departures
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Wishing On The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Wishing On The Moon
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers" CD/LP/Track Review Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 2, 2018
Read "Glassbath" CD/LP/Track Review Glassbath
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 6, 2018