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Album Review

Trombonist Steve Davis got his start playing with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, then spent years in Jackie McLean's band until the pianist's death in 2006. On this, his tenth recording as a leader, he's rejoined by his former colleagues in the McLean band, drummer Eric McPherson and bassist Nat Reeves, along with pianist Larry Willis for a solid set of familiar standards plus one original composition. He shows his range without showing it off too self-consciously: his take on "Milestones" is sharp and jittery, while his rendition of "My Foolish Heart" is suffused with all the sweetness and heartbreak you could hope for. When the band turns to "Surrey with the Fringe on Top," you realize (perhaps for the first time) what a splendid vehicle that song is for the trombone — a happy and sprightly number, but one with lots of room for legato phrasing. Davis and the crew swing gently but firmly on an infrequently recorded Billy Strayhorn number called "Upper Manhattan Medical Group," and close the proceedings with an inevitable (and nicely chosen) J.J. Johnson piece, "Short Cake." Altogether, this is a rich and very satisfying album by a master of his instrument and of small-group dynamics.

Alone Together, Steve Davis Quartet
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  • 8,91 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 08 May 2007

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