Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

308

Steve Davis: Portrait In Sound

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
It was bound to happen. Trombonist Steve Davis of Chick Corea's group Origin is releasing his first CD on Chick Corea's label, Stretch. Other Origin artists, past and present, who have signed to the label include Tim Garland, Steve Wilson and Avishai Cohen.

A consummate professional, Davis has been building a resume, and his own discography on Brownstone and Criss Cross, for half a decade now. That doesn't include his work with Jackie McLean, One For All, Freddie Cole, Avishai Cohen, Steve Wilson, Michael Weiss, the Mingus Big Band, the Roy Hargrove Big Band and Mary DiPaola-Davis, who also happens to be Mrs. Steve Davis.

Davis holds the distinction of being the last person Art Blakey hired for the Jazz Messengers. While Davis certainly is an exponent of Blakey's school of hard bop, he also possesses the educational background and versatility to blend into numerous groups, no matter how difficult the meter or how challenging the harmonic lines.

"Portrait In Sound" contains a repertoire of music with personal significance performed by friends from One For All and Origin, with two exceptions: vibraphonist Steve Nelson and pianist Brad Mehldau. Somewhat akin to the textures of Dave Holland's group, the combination of Davis' no-nonsense trombone playing with Nelson's mellowing influence on vibes creates a result that challenges while it reassures.

While Davis' group seamlessly explores Corea's "Shadows" with its combination of meters in five and six, the listener never really knowing when the lopped-off beat will occur, the group also surges ahead with a straight-ahead and invigorating version of "I'm Old Fashioned," Davis' tribute to his mentor, Curtis Fuller. While the group recalls Davis' tune written about the birth of his son, Anthony, with its propulsive anticipation of beats in 6/8, "The Slowdown" incorporates Wilson's alto sax work and Hazeltine's Fender Rhodes to delve into a soulful outpouring of energetic languor.

Using none of the muting of trombonists like Wycliffe Gordon or the histrionics of Ray Anderson, Steve Davis actually is more in the mode of Curtis Fuller, a respected team player and technically astute musician who seemingly effortlessly can heighten the artistic level of any group he joins.

Track Listing:

Portrait In Sound, I'm Old Fashioned, Shadows, The Slowdown, Darn That Dream, Runway, Somber Song, A Bundle Of Joy, I Found You, Samba D

Personnel:

Steve Davis, trombone; Steve Wilson, alto sax and alto flute; Steve Nelson, vibes; David Hazeltine, Brad Mehldau, piano; Nat Reeves, Avishai Cohen, bass; Joe Farnsworth, Jeff Ballard, drums

Title: Portrait In Sound | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Nattens Skogar – version for four players" CD/LP/Track Review Nattens Skogar – version for four players
by John Eyles
Published: December 1, 2017
Read "Tempe Jetz" CD/LP/Track Review Tempe Jetz
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e" CD/LP/Track Review 64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 25, 2017