Saturday, August 12, 2006

Steve Davis

If someone should ask me: What's your favorite instrument?, I guess I would answer like 75% of all jazz fans: tenor saxophone. This robust instrument, always in front of the band, always used in the spotlights is very favorite. But then I would be in doubt: Yes, but ...... Thelonious Monk or Brad Mehldau at the piano, and Roy Hargrove on trumpet, or on flugelhorn. Ray Brown on bass, and last but not least Oscar Aleman at the guitar.. Other instruments become favorite due to certain musicians who made an impression.

There is one instrument, seldom seen on stage, that might be the most difficult instrument to play, the slide trombone. And maybe that one should be my favorite, refering to musicians like Curtis Fuller, Slide Hampton or Steve Turre. And last night I was convinced what the answer might have been, if someone should ask me: Hans, what's your favorite instrument? The slide trombone.

Last night I listened to the new album of Steve Davis, called Update and it really gave me a thrill. To be honest, I'd never heard of this trombone player, but I bought it because Roy Hargrove was part of the band. So, my knowledge about this great trombone player needs some update, I guess.

Steve Davis was born in 1967 in Worchester, MA ( US) , started to play the trumpet and when he was 14 years old Curtis Fuller made him choose for the trombone. He studies at the Hartt School of Music at Hartford University and got the change to play with Jackie McLean, Pepper Adams and Eddie Henderson. He also recorded with Art Blakey. His style of playing was influenced by Art Blakey and is caracterized being fluid, melody-based, in a mainstream style. Ten years ago he made his first record as a leader, titled The Jaunt.

This album, Update, with great solos by Steve Davis, Roy Hargrove and Anthony Wonsey at the piano, is worth to search for. Steve met Roy for the first time at a jam session at Augie's in New York in the late 90s, but really their first meeting was in 1992 when Roy made a guest appearance at a recording with Jackie McLean. Steve Davis was part of McLean's band then.

Steve tells that he was impressed by Roy's trumpet playing: Everything Roy plays, to me, is the essence of what being an improviser and jazz musician is all about. His playing is soulful and intelligent. He plays what's supposed to be played at that moment. It so happened that Steve heard Moment to moment in the Roy Hargrove version, with strings, as arranged by Larry Willis, and decided to insert it on his album. It is one of my favorites.

STEVE DAVIS - update
Steve Davis tb, Roy Hargrove tp flh, Peter Bernstein g, Anthony Wonsey p, Nat Reeves b, Joe Farnsworth dm.

Recorded Brooklyn, NY,1 December 2005.
1. Marie Antoinette
2. Fenja
3. Bird Lives
4. Grove's Groove
5. The Maze
6. Daydream
7. Wildflower
8. Moment to Moment
9. Leanin' & Preenin'
Criss 1282 CD

Try to find your copy of this great record.
Find some music at Steve Davis' web site.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Steve Davis said...

Hans,

Thank you so much. This is very thoughtful and I appreciate it. It's nice to know that people are out there really listening! All the best to you and best of luck with your musical endeavors.

Sincerely,
Steve Davis

6:46 PM  

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