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Album Review

On its fourth album and first release in three years, this trio further crystallizes its formula of cocktail jazz meets deceptively biting lyrics. The initial impression is that this sounds too much like elevator or dentist office music for anyone's good, yet the songs grab your ears after a few spins, helped enormously by producer Jeff Eyrich's tasteful mood and arrangements that add heft to the basic trio's stripped-down sound. Percussion, sax, vibes, organ, and even accordion are all utilized at various times to flesh out these tunes, making them throb with a full yet cushy glow. Vocalist Kelly Flint remains the focus with a Peggy Lee/k.d. lang-styled voice that makes these songs soar. There are echoes of Norah Jones and Sade, but this is jazzier than either and aims for a more shadowy fringe. The dichotomy of the gentle, easy listening melodies and David Cantor's edgy, often dark concepts is a brilliant stroke. It makes this music perfect for the lounge crowd, chatting while twirling their swizzle sticks, or for serious listening with the lyric sheet in hand. The richness of the sound of "A Dog's Life" nearly obscures ominous lines such as "No ounce of prevention will kill you like the cure, this dog's life is hard to endure," sung by Flint in an upbeat, burnished yet dreamy style. The musical/lyrical contradiction and floating melodies with subtle hooks produce wonderfully sharp and unique jazz. Nature shows Dave's True Story to be crafty innovators in a genre where there aren't many other musicians pushing the envelope.


Formed: New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The duo Dave's True Story formed in Manhattan, when songwriter/guitarist David Cantor and singer Kelly Flint met through connections in the New York music scene; Flint showed an affinity for singing Cantor's witty, often risqué songs written in the style of Porter and Gershwin. The duo released their self-titled debut on their own BePop label in 1996 and built a following by performing frequently at New York clubs...
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Nature, Dave's True Story
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