JOHN DAVEY Sound Bites (Lil' Pumpkin)
by Jeff Waggoner
Just about everywhere you look in upstate New York, youll find great musicians in unexpected places.
In addition to Oneonta being the home of the great saxophonist/clarnettist Al Gallodoro, it is also homebase for the masterful double bassist, John Davey, who teaches jazz at both SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College.
Davey is a breath of fresh air to those music lovers who yearn for something other high volume and a multitude of notes.
His latest CD, Soundbites, (Lil Pumpkin Records) merges a traditional jazz quartet, double bass, piano, percussion and guitar, with the sensibilities of a chamber jazz group.
There is no question who is the leader on this beautiful CD. Daveys mature, ethereal sound permeates all the music here. He strains for nothing. He lets the music -- all of which he composed -- speak for itself.
While the title Soundbites gives the initial impression that this is a hodgepodge of music, but all the songs here are of a single piece.
Its peaceful and reflective, giving the listener something to sink into slowly softly. Not an awkward or misplaced note to be heard.
His band is made of excellent musicians Jeremy Wall on Piano, Brian Melick on percussion, drums and udu and the fabulous Chuck DAloia on guitar.
Adding even more texture to the music is the lush voice of the Argentina native Lorena Guillen on two cuts.
For those whose taste runs more toward the classical in the jazz-classical continuum, Daveys earlier CD, From The Bridge, (Lil Pumpkin) with a trio made up of Davey on bass, Dennis Turecheck on classical guitar and Amy Merrill on viola is another worthy effort from this upstate jazz treasure.
Jeff Waggoner has written book, CD and concert reviews for publications such as Metroland, Jazz Times, Blues Access and The New York Times. He lives in Nassau, is a student of jazz saxophone and guitar and can be frequently found at jazz, blues and folk concerts.