Friday, January 10, 2014

Steve Davis: For Real

Steve Davis (trombone)
For Real (Posi-Tone; 2014)
Abraham Burton (sax)
Larry Willis (piano)
Nat Reeves (bass)
Billy Williams (drums)

Steve Davis is in superb form on his new album, For Real. This is probably the best I heard in a couple albums now. While the bandmates remained the same for this album, with the inclusion of Abraham Burton, their tone and Davis' writing feels stronger and more confident.

"For Real" takes a calm but groovy approach, with some additional homage to the Blue Note legacy (you'll know what this means when you hear it). While keeping the hard bop tradition, Davis still manages to make his compositions stand above some of his contemporaries. The lovely ballad "Days Gone By," excels thanks to the raw but lush notes from Burton and the always steady hand of Willis. Davis' playing is understated and warm reflecting a soft elder statesmen quality.

"Daylight" closes out the album on a wonderful Brazilian swing. While having the infectious flavour, Davis crafts the tune with a number changes that allows for some adventurous movements throughout the piece. Not your typical number. And not you typical Brazilian influence tune. Well done.

With For Real, Steve Davis show that he has a lot more to write about and he continues to go from strength to strength. For Real is probably his best record to date for the Posi-Tone label. And its well worth seeking out. Right now!

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