441

Ron Davis: My Mother's Father's Song

Alain Londes By

Sign in to view read count
Ron Davis: My Mother's Father's Song Digging deep into a family's history and heritage can reveal a goldmine of inspirational nuggets. This is exactly what Toronto-based pianist Ron Davis set out to do in his first all-trio recording, My Mother's Father's Song. His music has always drawn on the classical, swing and post-bop traditions of Art Tatum and Thelonious Monk. In this case there is also a strong embrace of his Polish heritage.

My Mother's Father's Song is a very poignant and personal project, especially as it relates to the title, associated with a lyrical "Bal u Grubego Joska" ("Party at Fat Joe's"). Davis' maternal grandfather, Joseph Ladowsky (Fat Joe), wrote it during pre-World War II Warsaw, where he owned a popular restaurant at the time.

Ron Davis never met his grandfather, and this reconnection is the moving backdrop to My Mother's Father's Song. Davis presents three versions of the tune—one each for solo bass, solo piano, and the full trio. Written in a slow 3/4, the song's refrain mentions an accordion and really captures the essence of what a folksy party must have been like during that specific period in Warsaw's history.

Such quiet but deeply melodic and tonal sounds—possessing that typical French movie flavor—are very much in evidence in the original "Danza Daniela." Staying in that French mood, Davis brings in an easy swinging, 4/4 rendition of "La Mer" by Charles Trenet, one of the most prolific French singers and songwriters of the 20th century.

The pianist also draws on different yet contextually linked pieces such as Coldplay's "Viva la Vida," Arlen and Mercer's "My Shining Hour," and James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," providing the right balance by breaking up the texture slightly with his "Tumba Ron Rumba." Nevertheless, the closing piano lament plays the anchoring melody of the project for one final melancholic musical thought.

Fat Joe would have been proud.


Track Listing: Viva la Vida; The Climb; Sergei's Shuffle; Danza Daniela; La Mer; My Shining Hour; Tumba Ron Rumba; Bal u Grubego Joska (bass lament); Bal u Grubego Joska; Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight; For Once in My Life; You Needed Me; Bal u Grubego Joska (piano lament).

Personnel: Ron Davis: piano; Mike Downes: bass; Ted Warren: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Minerva Road / Davinor Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "A Tribute to Herbie +1" CD/LP/Track Review A Tribute to Herbie +1
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Young" CD/LP/Track Review Young
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 25, 2016
Read "Three Octaves Above The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Three Octaves Above The Sun
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Across the Universe" CD/LP/Track Review Across the Universe
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!