CD 1: S. Jensen, tbn; Svare, cl; J. Suddenly, people stood up and took notice of this highly original and unorthodox trumpeter who blew out of the side of his mouth, blasting distorted and buzzing notes, lip vibrato and growls. And believe it or not, he kept it up into his 80s! These sessions, made in Denmark when Davison was still a spring chicken of , show him still very much at the top of his game.
It was also the quality of his improvisations. Even when he used notes economically, as he does on many of these tunes, his note choices were always original and startling.
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He was just that good and that different. For a graphic example of what I mean about his dominance, just look at this wav file of this tune. You just have to take my word that nearly every track on this album looks like this:. They can barely keep up with his energy! The liner notes describe Davison in the s thus:.
Davison was a sensitive ruffian who drank like an entire band, could be gruff and violent, tender and touching, generous or stingy. But ever since he had been put under administration by his fifth and last wife, Ann Stewart, the number of female acquaintances had diminished and his consumption of booze had dwindled to a trickle. Nevertheless, when it came to procuring alcohol, WBD had a number of evasive methods. Just think of him as a white, trumpet-playing Fats Waller.
Same personality, different era. The man had a tuning fork in his head. The best description I can come up with of his playing is barrelhouse trumpet with great ideas and perfect control of all his effects. No matter whether he was playing for forty people or four hundred, there was an enormous amount of power.
He practiced all the time. Two days, problems. Three days, serious shit.
Stolle is prodded to play at his absolute best, but Davison still tops him. Here is a rhythm section that needs no apologies. Davison and Vig also engage in a slower but equally hot dialogue, a cappella at the outset, in Just a Closer Walk With Thee before the tempo doubles and the rest of the band falls in. The band is a hot one, including Edmond Hall in addition to Davison and a really swinging rhythm section. And contrary to the sessions back in New York, where there was always a distance between the strings and the soloist — why, here it became a one-big-happy-family style of things.
We all played music! Sorry, they said, time for a break. But the session came out great, with plenty of heart in it, and for the most part the arrangements are more creative and even swinging at times, a far cry from what many other jazz musicians like Clifford Brown and Coleman Hawkins were saddled with in this country. Check out, in particular, the swinging charts on Sugar, Serenade in Blue and Our Love is Here to Stay, but even the ballad A Ghost of a Chance has a nice beat to it, and in all of them Davison is fully relaxed and completely himself, no compromises in his improvisations.
Even with state-of-the-art stereo recording, Davison almost continually blasts the microphones with his buzzes and growls.
Of the accompanying band, the saxophonists and guitarists are the most interesting soloists besides Wild Bill himself. Three of the songs on this album, But Beautiful, You Took Advantage of Me and Memories of You, have surprisingly rich background arrangements for the reeds, playing like a section in a big band, which gives you a small idea of how Davison might have sounded in such an environment. Regardless of his accompaniment, however, he remained steadfastly gritty in his approach. Wild Bill was Wild Bill, regardless of surroundings. Davison was one of a kind! Follow me on Twitter!
Read my book, From Baroque to Bop and Beyond: An extended and detailed guide to the intersection of classical music and jazz. This one most definitely sparkles from first note to last, and in operettas, sparkle is what you want. More importantly, all the lead singers have fine voices, and that, too, is what you want. This is especially crucial in the four major roles, Adam the bird seller of the title , Christel his girl friend , Baron Weps, and Electress Marie.
As for the plot, it is typically silly fare. A waitress suggests the postmistress Christel as the latter because her boyfriend Adam is too poor to move into the community and marry her. Christel tells Adam that she is planning to petition the court to find him a job in the town so he can afford the wedding. Meanwhile, Electress-Princess Marie arrives in disguise, hoping to catch the Elector in flagrante with the ceremonial maiden by posing as the maiden herself.
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Christel ends up in the pavilion with Count Stanislaus, thinking him the Elector. Adam arrives to find the Hunt Master and the Burgomeister informing him that Christel is the ceremonial maiden, and is therefore not in the crowd. Marie, hoping to save Adam from embarrassment, offers him the bouquet of roses which she has brought in case her plan to become the ceremonial maiden works out.
Adam, thinking of his own Tyrolen behavior code, somehow thinks himself to have been promised to Marie and Christel to have been promised to the Elector. He thus publicly breaks off his engagement to Christel.http://grandaweek.co.uk/the-texas-jukebox-tragedy.php
Naturally, all of these had much better voices per se than the usual tenors cast as Adam, but Bernhard Bechtold is up to the task, not only stylish but able to manage the difficult soft high notes with ease. The one thing I missed, which both Tauber and Wittrisch had in their recordings, was the mechanical bird in the background.
A good time is had by all. But in between those passages he emphasizes lyricism and elegance. And, to a certain extent, he succeeds.
- Heinrich Schenker and the radio.
In some respects, this is a very fine performance for nowadays. Ahonen really does let himself go in the louder passages, and in some moments—particularly the hymn tune that arises at about in the second movement—he brings out an almost wistful, nostalgic quality that surely is not out of place in this music, followed almost immediately by the clangorous and eventually atonal march tune.
Ives and Kirkpatrick sound craggy, even a bit rough, whereas Ahonen is clearly leaning on the nostalgia of the piece. I was also quite pleased to hear that the pianist used both the optional viola in the first movement and flute in the last, which creates an eerie feeling, particularly in the way these instruments are miked, which is in a very distant perspective. My gold standard in the Ives violin sonatas is the old recording by violinist Gregory Fulkerson and pianist Robert Shannon on Bridge , but in the context of this simpler sonata, written by Ives for his year-old nephew, this is a good performance.
Unfiltered Universe. Turn of Events. Disagree to Agree. This is almost as if Abbasi and Mahanthappa had decided to throw Middle Eastern musicians, and sensibilities, into an essentially American context. No shrinking violet is he, but a musician who is not afraid to play his solos with power and emotion. His solos are remarkably interesting, combining elements of Monk and Bill Evans two of his early heroes , but they are cooler than the saxist or guitarist.
Iyer is particularly effective on the title track, where the voltage is reduced somewhat. Abbasi and Mahanthappa play an interesting yet quirky long-lined melody in unison which then leads into Iyer playing interesting figures while the guitar-sax duo is joined by Elizabeth Mikhael on cello playing a sort of ground bass behind them.
Much more has been written out and preplanned, using South Indian rhythms with American harmonies. His fecund imagination never ceases to amaze me; nothing he plays is trite or derivative, yet it always sounds as if he had the entire solo mapped out in his head before he even got through the first three bars. Following this, Mahanthappa ramps up the tempo in double time with a long string of repeated octave flutters. The tune titled Rez Intro sounds as if was played backwards on a tape player…maybe it was!
Thin-King is a medium-tempo romp for the band, and even Iyer plays here with a higher level of energy to match the intensity of the others. Johannes Weidenmueller contributes a nice bass solo as well. Turn of Events, the longest track on the album at nearly 12 minutes, starts with slow, out-of-tempo musings from the various musicians, mostly guitar and alto sax while piano, bass, cello and drums drop notes in here and there as filler.
Every note played by each band member contributes to the whole, and even the individual solos seems specifically tailored to the surrounding structure.