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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Davis: Think Ahead

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Composer and trombonist Steve Davis found a home for his muse starting in the late '90s with Criss Cross Jazz. Over the course of seven dates as a leader and many times more as a sideman, he established his voice as a writer and performer. For the past ten years, his releases elsewhere have been few and far between. It is with much fanfare then that fans should greet his second date for Smoke Sessions, a label that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Davis: Think Ahead

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Trombonist and composer Steve Davis has released his new album on Smoke Sessions Records, entitled, Think Ahead. The inspiration for the title comes from the art of reacting to the unpredictable, but thinking ahead can aid in preparing for whatever the future may bring. The trombonist is joined by saxophonist Jimmy Greene, pianist Larry Willis, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash, each are well-known in the jazz world, but this is not a session of strangers, Davis has a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Davis: Say When

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The winds of change have actively sought to change the jazz vernacular of the 21st century. Fueled in large part by the media, it seems that the darlings of the current set have opted for a broader definition of the music. Key elements such as melody and a prominent swing feel are often looked upon as “old hat" by the so-called hipper crowd. Some of this new music is vital, but much of it is inconsequential, further splintering the jazz ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Davis: For Real

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For lovers of straight-ahead jazz the Posi-Tone record label is a pretty safe bet, a mark of quality. Label owner and producer Marc Free seems to possess a knack for combining excellent musicians and high quality studios (aided and abetted by engineer Nick O'Toole) to create fresh and rewarding music.Trombonist Steve Davis is one of those excellent musicians and For Real is his fourth album for the label. Davis' long career has seen him produce 16 previous albums ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Davis: Gettin' It Done

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Trombonist Steve Davis has never had a problem getting things done. He instantly joined the slide-wielding elite when he graduated from the Hartt School's Jackie McLean Institute in 1989 and joined up with drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. That gig jump-started his career and he's never looked back. Stints with McLean and pianist Chick Corea followed, helping to raise his profile within the jazz community, and a steady stream of sideman work, leader offerings and dates with the collective super ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Davis: Gettin' It Done

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Calling trombonist Steve Davis a veteran is probably inappropriate--after all, he was a mere 44 year-old when he recorded Gettin' It Done in October, 2011. However, he has such a wealth of experience, such a command of his instrument and such a rich back catalog of recordings that based on his body of work rather than his birthday such a soubriquet is not so out of place. Gettin' It Done is a worthy addition to the Davis discography: a swinging, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Davis: Images

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It is easy to mistake trombonist Steve Davis for an aesthete--which he is, possessing an undying sense of lyricism to show for it. But he is a deeper musician than one who merely subscribes to the aesthetical philosophy. Each of Images' ten compositions far transcends warmth and lyrical beauty, standing out as astute forms of modal music that recall the finest of their kind. Davis' ability to enrich the tonal palette of the trombone is commendable. He may not bend ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Davis: Images - The Hartford Suite

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Trombonist/composer Steve Davis was commissioned by the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz to compose Images: The Hartford Suite, with track dedicated to a contemporary or historical Hartford figure or place. Thankfully, a detailed knowledge of Hartford, Connecticut is not a prerequisite for the enjoyment of this music; the talent and enthusiasm of the musicians accentuate this set of upbeat, positive, swinging tunes. This is the Davis quintet's second album, following Outlook (Posi-Tone Records, 2008). Every member of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Davis: Images

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Images is trombonist Steve Davis' love letter to his hometown of West Hartford, CT. The ten pieces he wrote for the album, and which make up his “Hartford Suite," are all dedicated to people or places associated with this geographic region. While Davis' penchant for crisp swing and clear, lyrical lines plays a big part here, some compositional cunning--and some pieces that fall outside this general area--helps to keep things from falling into a stylistic rut. Dedicated ...


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