201

Steve Davis: Portrait in Sound

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
After four unique and striking dates as a leader for Criss Cross , trombonist Steve Davis has made the switch to a stateside label with Portrait in Sound, recorded for boss Chick Corea’s Stretch subsidiary. Building solidly on his track record, this new endeavor presents not only Davis the trombonist but also Davis the gifted arranger and writer. With buddies from the hard bop collective One For All on hand (Hazeltine and Farnsworth) and vibraphonist Steve Nelson a holdover from the last Criss Cross side, Vibe Up!, Davis presents a personalized calling card that accurately spotlights his strengths.

Among many points of interest, standouts have to be “A Bundle of Joy” and “Samba D.” The former is a waltz tempo with a highly attractive melody line, while the latter is in a Latin vein. Both are examples of the kind of long forms that distinguish Davis’ compositions. Instead of routine 32 bar structures with a straight swing throughout, Davis sagaciously allows the melodic line to dictate the harmonic and formal structure while permitting changes in rhythmic feel within the piece. One of his most attractive works, “I Found You” takes on a new look when compared with the version that appeared on a Jackie McLean album of a few years back. In this incarnation a lilting bossa groove is added and Steve Wilson’s alto flute takes up the lead with Davis.

It should come as no real surprise that the interplay among Davis and his crew is of a first class nature. These guys have worked together often and have developed a level of communication that only comes through familiarity. Even with the guest appearances on a few tracks, there’s a cohesiveness here that provides testament to Davis’ skills as a bandleader. In addition, it’s men of this ilk that seem to be keeping the mainstream jazz tradition alive and thriving and for that we owe them our gratitude.


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 For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Leon" CD/LP/Track Review Leon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Like Songs Like Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Like Songs Like Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2017
Read "Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review Horizonte
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Ida Y Vuelta" CD/LP/Track Review Ida Y Vuelta
by James Nadal
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Eleven Cages" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Double Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Double Mirror
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.