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Album Review

People may very well raise questions as to Dave King's legitimacy in making creative music while overdubbing on his familiar drum kit...and mainly piano. Admittedly doing this project that he's always wanted to produce "for better or worse," King goes at it on a spontaneous level that reflects a childlike sensibility and a certain naïveté that in many ways is charming, or dangerously teetering on the edge of melodrama. With no other helpmates, King navigates through a set of spontaneous originals segued seamlessly that bears little resemblance to rock music, his work with the Bad Plus, or any parallels to his bandmate Ethan Iverson. Either his influences (perhaps Muhal Richard Abrams?) are transcended or he's playing down to them and adding complete farcical whimsy to the proceedings, but at the bottom line the music is so nebulous that it's hard to tell for sure. Is he playing, or playing with the piano? At times he sounds like a petulant child, rambling in idiot savant mentality, stomping about during "The Werewolf and the Silver Bullet," though you also might hear a quote of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Within the angularity of Thelonious Monk, King evokes wonderful images in "Bees"; goes dour and free on the short pouting "The Shell"; is pensive and brooding during "I See You, You See Me"; and is bouncy and uplifted for "I Want to Feel Good," replete with happy handclapping. Whether he is competent or ignorant, you can't deny that King has some chops to burn on the jagged repeat-note phrases of the maddening and annoying "Arts High Boogie" and the diffuse repeat chords that identify "The Black Dial Tone of Night" in murky shadows. At times King introduces distorted electronics to the mix on the three-layered "Homage: Young People," while his dramatic piano during the title selection sports a plodding beat on a perfectly named piece that is both fascinating and futile. Bottom line: Dave King is incapable of sitting still, nervous to a degree, ultimately curious, but sounding more like he is practicing — a good thing for a doctor or a musician. Indelicate is a curious album, where the listener has the final say...bad, good, plus, or minus. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

If Bartok grooved really hard... in a disjointed way

King's compositional influence upon "that one band he plays with" (the Bad Plus) is strikingly clear when you hear him on his own, left to his own devices. With a couple of exceptions, the compositions on here are generally atonal, or dis-tonal in that the recognize a tonal center... then proceed to lovingly kick its kneecaps in. But really... I'm really enjoying this album. King's drumming colors his piano playing nicely on this album. He really knows how to develop his ideas... sometimes the tunes take one or two ideas and run with them, others are presented more cinematically, with self-references but a more stream of consciousness, through-composed sensibility.

Warning: I like "challenging" music. This album is going to be an intense listen, even for a lot of people comfortable with atonal music or free jazz. It'll take me a LONG time to really absorb this album enough to fully understand how I feel about it... this isn't easy stuff to pick apart. Right now, however, I'm really enjoying it, and I don't think that will ever really change. What matters? I think it's fun and beautiful. Give it a shot.


I give this five stars because it shows how Dave King can take two instruments by himself and tell a story, take Bees for example, in Bees he takes the piano with a sample pad next to his acoustic and he tells a story with blending the two with the piano shows the thought and emotion out into playing this, amazing, thank you


Genre: Dance

Years Active:

b. Twickenham, Middlesex, England. A very popular comedian and singer in the UK during the 50s and 60s, at the age of 15 King was a stooge and washboard player in the bill-topping variety act, Morton Fraser’s Harmonica Gang. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1950 and returned to the Gang afterwards. His big solo break came with appearances on UK television’s Showcase and Television Music Hall. These resulted in West End appearances and his own television variety series. King first recorded in 1955...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Dave King

Indelicate, Dave King
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Rock
  • Released: Feb 02, 2010

Customer Ratings