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ALBUM REVIEWS

Jesse Davis: The Setup

Read "The Setup" reviewed by Russ Musto

This is the real thing: an authentic, unpretentious set of bebop, ballads and blues played with the profound feeling and burning intensity that many artists strive for but few achieve. Saxophonist Jesse Davis was a featured player in Robert Altman's Kansas City and on this date he seems to be on a mission to revitalize jazz with the energy and excitement of a “real" jazz club, as depicted in that film. The group, featuring Davis' frequent collaborator Peter Bernstein on ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jesse Davis: The Setup

Read "The Setup" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Jesse Davis is a meat and potatoes alto saxophonist. He sounds like the living extension of that part of Julian Adderley and Sonny Stitt which was unaffected by Charlie Parker. He has a beautifully virile, muscular tone brimming with confidence. On The Setup, Davis chooses a guitar trio for his rhythm section, lead by plectrist Peter Bernstein perfectly balancing Davis’s brawn with grace and intelligence.

Davis’s choice of repertoire for this recital is tasteful and smart. From the standards bin, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jesse Davis: Second Nature

Read "Second Nature" reviewed by Jim Santella

In Robert Altman’s 1996 film Kansas City, Jesse Davis is a member of the band at a fictional Hey Hey Club where Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins battle it out for satisfaction. In the subsequent video and tour, he’s paired with fellow alto saxophonist David “Fathead" Newman, playing mostly post-bop passages and adding excitement to the jam, which still employs a 1934-ish jazz scene. Born in New Orleans and starting his professional career with Illinois Jacquet’s big band, the 34-year-old ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jesse Davis: First Insight

Read "First Insight" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Jesse Davis, one of the country's finest post-Cannonball boppers, plays with splendid precision on First Insight, all of whose nine compositions he wrote - but I can remember his having played with more intensity on other occasions (High Standards, for example, or From Within). While there is warmth peeking through here from time to time, the session seldom catches fire. One problem lies with the rhythm section, especially Miller's forceful piano, which is too conspicuously front-and-center (Carter's bass, which is ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jesse Davis: First Insight

Read "First Insight" reviewed by Jim Santella

Although his style runs along hard bop lines, alto saxophonist Jesse Davis' sixth album as a leader is a straight-ahead modern mainstream album that emphasizes his lyricism and familiar ease with a melody. In Robert Altman's film Kansas City, Davis performed in his own intense style, displaying the edginess in his saxophone tone and the speed with which he can play that instrument. For this session he's backed by pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Kenny Washington and guitarist ...


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