5

Carn Davidson 9: Murphy

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Carn Davidson 9: Murphy
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).

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read How Can We Wake?
How Can We Wake?
Josephine Davies
Read Blue Has A Range
Blue Has A Range
Steve Cardenas
Read Then Now
Then Now
Rob Brown - Matthew Shipp
Read Human Dust Suite
Human Dust Suite
Miki Yamanaka
Read You're It!
You're It!
The Mike Melito/Dino Losito Quartet
Read TEST and Roy Campbell
TEST and Roy Campbell
TEST and Roy Campbell
Read 4K
4K
Modasaurus

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.