All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

David Williams: Tipping My Hat To Leonard

Paul Naser By

Sign in to view read count
When thinking of powerful, challenging lyrics, "gypsy" jazz rarely comes to mind. David Williams is out to change that one song at at time. The Emmy award winning songwriter's CV is impressive to say the least; he has worked for PBS (how he won his Emmy), written multiple books on topics ranging from poetry to neuroscience and taught as a university professor, all while continuing to play gypsy jazz. However, after a divorce, Williams moved to Nashville for a new start.

His latest record is a reflection of his love for American giants of songwriting like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. It was his homage to Cohen, for which the record is named, that inspired the 16 song collection that covers a wide variety of themes and styles.

The title track, "Tipping My Hat to Leonard," is a playful, earthy swing ballad with more than a hint of Cohen's vocal style. The lyrics reference his work in name and in spirit, name checking the masterpiece "Hallelujah" while questioning the purpose of songwriting and life at the same time.

The record isn't all heavy themes by any means, though. "Little Tiny Foreign Car" couldn't be more light hearted if it tried. The heartfelt performance and simple instrumentation could put anyone at ease.

There is some pretty decent playing on the record as well. The hot jazz reminiscent "Baby Lost Her Kitty" has some solid gypsy rhythm section playing and a couple of high energy if not virtuosic solos from Williams on guitar and clarinetist Bill Pontarelli.

Every track on Tipping My Hat to Leonard is rich with colorful, evocative lyrics and solid gypsy playing. The lyrics alone warrant multiple listens while the playing lays down a firm foundation. Fans of John Prine will greatly enjoy this thought provoking record.

Track Listing: Tipping My Hat To Leonard; Who Let That Django Jazz into the Room?; Little Tiny Foreign Car; Baby Lost Her Kitty; Aching For Love; Irritation Polka; Dead Man Feel; Guernica; Murder of Crows; Complicated Women; Frozen in the Ice Age ; Snowblind; Ghost Bird; I Ain't Gonna Love Nobody; Icon; Holy Earth.

Personnel: David Williams: vocals, guitars, mandolin, violin, tenor banjo; Ellie Brown: vocals, accordion; Monica Whittington: vocals (16); Duane Webster: bass; Wade Krauss: drums; Derek Banach: trumpet; Bill Pontarelli: clarinet; Enion Pelta-Tiller: violin (2); Janineray Mariani: accordion (3, 11); Ray Contreras: percussion; Mike Koertgen: harmonica (1).

Title: Tipping My Hat To Leonard | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Trapdoor Media

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Telepathy CD/LP/Track Review
Telepathy
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read The Whole Thing Is Just There CD/LP/Track Review
The Whole Thing Is Just There
by John Bricker
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante CD/LP/Track Review
Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Rogue Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rogue Star
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "Crossing Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Crossing Borders
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "The Haywain" CD/LP/Track Review The Haywain
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 28, 2018
Read "Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House" CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "New Road: Iowa Memoirs" CD/LP/Track Review New Road: Iowa Memoirs
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 26, 2018
Read "The Unrecorded Fox" CD/LP/Track Review The Unrecorded Fox
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 3, 2018
Read "Old Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Old Soul
by Anya Wassenberg
Published: February 26, 2018