139

Dave Phillips: Prayer

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Phillips: Prayer The family business of jazz is a perilous one. Expectations come high when a child follows the parent's example. Will the offspring be as productive, or will comparisons undermine their prospects before they mature?

Bassist Dave Phillips is the son of improvisatory bass legend Barre Phillips. Such a pedigree is not always a boon. Phillips handles it well by playing much differently than pére, writing his own compelling compositions and, most importantly, assembling a wonderfully cohesive group. The assembly happened more than a decade previous. The group, Freedance, is Phillips on bass, John O'Gallagher on alto, Rez Abbasi on electric and acoustic guitars and Tony Moreno on drums. Prayer, their second album, is the happy result of all the time the quartet logged together.

Phillips works in the traditional role of the bassist, albeit one who writes all the compositions and adds a healthy amount of creative counterpoint. His technique is solid and unassuming, never doing too much or overstating his case. Freedance is a successful venture - the four players elevate to a unified sound, a stirring reminder of what can occur when groups develop over time.

The album begins rather subtly with "Window." The piece, vaguely ECM-ish, sounds languid and soft but with a tighter jazz sensibility. Abbasi even has John Abercrombie-like moments. O'Gallagher's pure tone gels nicely with Phillips' firm pizzicato. Abbasi, when not soloing, uses chord voicings and effects to play the role of the piano. "Annabella" swings with snaky lines by Abbasi and a lovely arco lead by Phillips. The title track follows, opening with cerebral bass figures followed by a reflective statement by O'Gallagher, augmented towards the end by Abbasi's biting attack until resolving back into quiet.

Phillips' music is worked over into excellent group statements by the quartet. The jerky rhythms of "Thread" come out of the robotic bass line. "Night Owl" is a perky short number with a whimsical melody; "Spilt Milk" follows with an extended bass intro that recalls some the elder Phillips. The song morphs into a fusion blowout featuring Abbasi and Moreno in duo until resolving into the quartet playing the cousin of the theme from "Night Owl."

"Tribute to Stu" is named for the late drummer Stu Martin, with whom Barre Phillips and John Surman had a long-standing trio. The piece begins with a long Moreno solo before a theme that could have been played by his father's trio launches concurrent solos by O'Gallagher and Abbasi. The album closes in the mellow way it began, featuring Abbasi on acoustic guitar for "Circle Above" and recalling his background with Eastern sounds and tonalities on "Incarnation." Prayer demonstrates that music benefits from a slow organic process. Phillips will have a lot to teach to his children if they choose to pick up the bass.


Track Listing: 1.Window 2.Anabella 3.Prayer 4.Thread 5.Night Owl 6.Spilt Milk 7.Tribute To Stu 8.Circle Above 9.Incarnation

Personnel: Tony Moreno: drums

Title: Prayer | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Sound Street Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

  • Source
    Source
    Dave Phillips and Freedance
    Freedance Live
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Dream In The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Dream In The Blue
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "Supernovae" CD/LP/Track Review Supernovae
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Reach" CD/LP/Track Review Reach
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Innri" CD/LP/Track Review Innri
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 4, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.