375

Roger Davidson: Amor por el Tango & Rodgers in Rio

By

Sign in to view read count
The Tango Group
Amor por el Tango
Soundbrush
2004

Roger Davidson is a classically trained pianist and composer with a sizable list of orchestral and choral works under his belt. He seems to have an endearing love for an underappreciated workhorse like the oebo, which betrays a real orchestrator's mind.

His playing on these discs shows a solid, if not remarkable classical technique. Looking at it from a light-classical, "salon" point of view if you will, his renditions succeed very well. His phrasing does lack the required rhythmic finesse, though, to convincingly perform from within either the tango or jazz tradition.

So, when the liner notes of Amor por el Tango suggest that Davidson "absorbed the spirit of the tango", then his playing hides it pretty well. It lacks the sharpness and control over elastic tempo's typical of high-level tango-playing.

It is not enough to add a bandoneon. You collectively have to hit those notes and chords with the feather-light forceful focus of a knife-thrower, and effortlessly stretch those tempo's back and forth like an accelerating divebomber that drops its load, and then pulls up again, in one swift and elegant move.

Having said so, the arrangements are well crafted (see the successful tango-fication of Cole Porter's "Night and Day"), and it is a nice touch to turn "La Cumparsita", Tango's "When-The-Saints-Go-Marching-In", into a waltz.

Roger Davidson
Rodgers in Rio
Soundbrush
2004

While Rodgers in Rio , through its leader's rather heavy-handed playing, displays a similar approach, it works somewhat better in the context of performing the songs of Richard Rodgers as bossa-nova's, and the rhythmic support from his sidemen is considerably stronger. The liner notes make no bones about the fact that this was more or less a hobby project by someone who approaches jazz and the work of Richards Rodgers as a musical outsider.

There is no question about Davidson's love and honest admiration for the music of Richard Rodgers and the Tango tradition, and he is in itself a decent enough pianist and a good arranger. If you like the idea of approaching jazz and tango from a light-classical angle (what the Germans, the true masters of the genre call "Unterhaltungsmusik") then these are the perfect CD's for you.

But if you look for renditions that fit the norm within either the jazz or tango tradition, you should look elsewhere.

Amor por el Tango :

Track listing: Alicia, Triunfal, Chique, Maquillaje, Rebecca, Griseta, La Cumparsita, Secretos, Night and Day, So in Love, Begin the Beguine, Tristeza, Perdida, Volver, Vals Para Mi Amor

Personnel: Roger Davidson (p); Hector del Curto, David Alsina (bandoneon); Susan de Camp (oboe); Nicolas Danielson (violin); Francisco Navarro (g); Pedro Giraudo, Pablo Aslan (b)

Rodgers in Rio

Track listing: My Romance, Blue moon, Some Enchanted Evening, Climb Ev'ry Mountain, My Funny Valentine, The Sweetest Sounds, Edelweiss, With a Song in My Heart, Lover, Bewitched, The Surrey with the Fringe on Top, If I Loved You, Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'

Personnel: Roger Davidson (p); David Finck (b); Paulo Braga (d)

Visit Roger Davidson on the web .


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read Roots In The Green Mountains Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Green Mountain Jazz Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Guitars on Three Continents Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series" Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Three saxophonists very different paths since "Propagations"" Multiple Reviews Three saxophonists very different paths since...
by John Eyles
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Roots In The Green Mountains" Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment" Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana" Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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