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Album Review

Steve Davis, an excellent hard bop trombonist who is a successor style-wise of J.J. Johnson and Curtis Fuller, is in top form during his second Criss Cross CD as a leader. Once again Davis is teamed up with tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, this time in a sextet with trumpeter Jim Rotondi, pianist David Hazeltine, bassist Nat Reeves, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. Davis contributed five of the nine songs (including "Payne's Window" for baritonist Cecil Payne), Alexander brought in the up-tempo romp "Trippin'," and the sextet also performs three standards (including "Detour Ahead" and "Summertime"). Davis, who deserves much greater recognition, shows that he is one of the top straight-ahead trombonists of the 1990s and blends in well with Rotondi and Alexander. Recommended.


Born: 14 April 1967 in Worcester, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Inspired by the bebop of the 1950s, Steve Davis has crafted a distinctive sound on the slide trombone. In addition to leading his own group and serving as co-leader of One for All, Davis continues to perform with Chick Corea's sextet Origin. "I'm drawn to music which allows for creativity of expression," Davis said during a 2001 interview, "music which challenges the listener (as well as the musicians playing it) to think, to imagine, to feel." A native of Binghamton, NY, Davis grew up surrounded...
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