Thursday, May 1, 2014

John Davey, Open Range

With John Davey's album Open Range (Lil' Pumpkin 006) we get a worthy confluence of players hitting it pretty hard in ways that reference the Abercrombie-Holland-DeJohnette Gateway Trio in their early days. Not in some direct copycat way, but there's smoke and fire here that hearkens back without a hardening of the arteries. The improvisations have their own originality and spontaneity.

So who is playing? John Davey on acoustic bass--a man who chooses his notes wisely and has the rhythmic thrust to get things burning. Drummer Dean Sharp has a busy heat in the advanced jazz-rock mode that is totally right for this date. Guitarist Ken Mcgloine has a rock edge with sometimes screaming lines that are generally pretty cranked and so get that sustain going. I like his harmonic and melodic sense and find much that attracts me to his playing on the set.

The mostly original tunes ring out well and have solidity to them that only adds to the hip quality of this date. There are several seconds of music because of which as a producer I would have suggested another take. They are quite minor in the scheme of things. Otherwise this is one hip record. Recommended!

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