All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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

Related Articles

Read Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road CD/LP/Track Review
Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 25, 2018
Read 8 Songs CD/LP/Track Review
8 Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Facing Dragons CD/LP/Track Review
Facing Dragons
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read "Vista" CD/LP/Track Review Vista
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 29, 2018
Read "Triple Double" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by John Sharpe
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Cross Country" CD/LP/Track Review Cross Country
by Don Phipps
Published: July 31, 2018
Read "World Domination Vol 1: Furie" CD/LP/Track Review World Domination Vol 1: Furie
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 20, 2018
Read "Piano Images" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Images
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "Dear Friend" CD/LP/Track Review Dear Friend
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: July 28, 2018