3

Jon Davis: One Up Front

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Jon Davis: One Up Front
It's tempting to say that pianist Jon Davis has been hiding in plain sight for the past few decades, but he hasn't really been hiding at all. He's actually been playing all over the place with a lot of top-tier musicians; he just doesn't put himself up front very often. Davis, who's worked with saxophonist Stan Getz, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Jaco Pastorius, and a long list of other jazz luminaries, is the consummate sideman, always adding support and substance to other artists' performances and recordings, but that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve a little attention once in a while for his own music; One Up Front makes it clear that he has plenty of good things to say when the spotlight's turned in his direction.

Davis put together a well-balanced program of originals and standards for this, his Posi-Tone debut. He delivers a performance of pianist Horace Silver's "Strollin'" that lives up to its name, puts odd metered twists on "How Deep Is The Ocean" and "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," and flies through Cole Porter's "You're The Top," which is powered by drummer Shinnosuke Takahashi's light-and-propulsive ride cymbal work. Davis also proves capable of ruminating on the theme of imagined love during an engaging performance of "My Ideal." The originals, which include a burning "This Joker's A Smoker," the mellow-swinging title track, and bassist Joris Teepe's bossa-tinged "Candid Camera," prove equally appealing.

Davis, Teepe and Takahashi prove to be a well-matched threesome in every way. Together, they wind their way through various musical settings, paying great attention to touch, balance and mood; when some trios play standards, whether packaged in run-of-the-mill fashion or arranged to their liking, they sound like they're phoning it in, but these guys never sound like that; Davis and his trio mates fully invest themselves in every performance on the highly pleasing One Up Front.

Track Listing

Strollin'; How Deep Is The Ocean; Candid Camera; This Joker's A Smoker; No Kiddin'; One Up Front; You're The Top; My Ideal; Sir Dude; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.

Personnel

Jon Davis: piano; Joris Teepe: bass; Shinnosuke Takahashi: drums.

Album information

Title: One Up Front | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

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.