Playscape Recordings label), 3 with expanded lineups.
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. For directions, go to hotchkiss.org.
clogs.bandcamp.com. To purchase tickets for the Firehouse 12 date, go to firehouse12.com or call 203-785-0468.
The title tell its all - the band "hits" from the first note and never loses its focus. Opening with John Coltrane's "Village Blues" (from the 1960 "Coltrane Jazz" Lp), the music is blessed by the leader's warm tones and willingness to share the spotlight. Willis's rich chords lead the piece in, Reeves and Williams lock into the grooves and the front line presents the sweet melody (which would have sounded out of place on "Kind of Blue.") The leader takes the first solo; his winning combination of his sweet tone and smart improvisations lead to DiRubbo's mellow-with-an-edge alto solo. But the surprise here is the dynamic work of young Mr. Bruneau. Throughout this program, his clear, clean, sound and feisty attack is a treat. His funky approach on Davis's "The Beacon" shows the influence of Freddie Hubbard while the "groove" should remind listeners of The Crusaders. Williams does not settle into the groove; instead, he pushes the piece forward while Reeves' strong bass support along with Willis's bright chords gives the piece its shape.
Other highlights include the sprightly "Sunny" (yes, the tune by Bobby Hebb) with its joyful interplay of trombone and trumpet as well as the lovely and lyrical "Wishes" that closes the program. The latter opens with the leader and DiRubbo playing the handsome theme leading into a long piano excursion from Willis. The pianist is a masterful accompanist while every one of his solos seems to dance atop the beat with glee (he puts the dance steps into "Steppin' Easy" and the fire into "Longview.")
Steve Davis is one of the people who makes music that reflects his true being; to wit, the music on "Gettin' It Done" is bright, highly rhythmical and melodic, never pushy or condescending. The band is sharp and attentive, the solos almost always impressive and one feels quite satisfied after spending tine with this music. For more information, go to www.stevedavis.info.
Here's the title track for you to download, courtesy of PosiTone Records and IODA Promonet:
Gettin' It Done (mp3)
The Jazz Session, the fine music interview podcast produced by Jason Crane (the 3 most recent posts are on the top right of this column.) Then, you are quite aware of his "Jazz Or Bust" tour that has finally reached New Orleans, the ultimate destination of the initial leg of the venture. My recommendation is that you go to jasoncrane.org to read his posts about the sights, sounds, and emotions of a journalistic hiker in search of the people who create the music we know and love as jazz. But there's more to his writing than music - Mr. Crane is a poet, a musician with words as his instrument. In other ways, this journey is one of self-discovery, not often easy or satisfying but educational for the soul. Give him an ear and an eye; there's much to hear and see.