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Bob Mover / Walter Davis Jr.: The Salerno Concert


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Bob Mover / Walter Davis Jr.: The Salerno Concert
Alto saxophonist Bob Mover and pianist Walter Davis Jr. embark on a captivating journey in a 1989 live concert from La Botteghelle, Salerno, Italy, which has now been released by Reel to Real Records. Appropriately entitled The Salerno Concert, it is a testament to their virtuosity and intuitive support. These two adherents of the bebop tradition embark upon a musical recital of nine compositions sprinkled with recognizable anthems of the genre, paying homage to their predecessors and weaving intricate harmonies and cascading runs, delivering a vivid landscape of sound.

The concert opens with a Gigi Gryce composition, "Nica's Tempo." From the first notes of Mover's crisp warm tone, his approach to developing the number is clear-eyed and self-assured. Davis picks up the thread, confirming that he is an elegant pianist with a foundation in bebop. As the chart progresses, they play off each other, responding to each other's cues. "Star Eyes," written by Gene de Paul, was recorded by Charlie Parker in 1951 for Verve Records. Due to his influence, it then became a popular number for jazz musicians. The dialogue Mover and Davis Jr. create as they develop the composition is palpable and supported by an unflappable technical facility. "Donna Lee" has gained the status as a bebop standard, and while the liner notes list the composer as Miles Davis, it has also been attributed to Charlie Parker. It is a contrafact based on the chord changes to "(Back Home Again in) Indiana." The original tune is easily noted in Davis' opening piano passages and underpins Mover and Davis' lengthy solo improvisations.

As the album unfolds, it becomes clear that Mover and Davis share a common ground of musical values, both easily navigating the harmonic twists and turns. For the final two tracks of the concert, the duo is back in bebop territory with the Dizzy Gillespie classic "Salt Peanuts" and the Charlie Parker line "Bird Feathers." On both of these numbers, Mover and Davis infuse the music with a sense of joyous abandon, with Davis' fingers gliding effortlessly over the keys and Mover imbuing his playing with a fiery intensity from the first note to the last.

Track Listing

Nica's Tempo; Star Eyes; Donna Lee; You Don't Know What Love Is; All The Things You Are/Prince Albert; All God's Chillun Got Rhythm/Little Willie Leaps; A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square; Salt Peanuts; Bird Feathers.


Album information

Title: The Salerno Concert | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Reel to Real Records

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