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Thread: Jack Davies Big Band

  1. #1
    vn, eg, eb RogerFarbey's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Jack Davies Big Band

    The Jack Davies Big Band (V&V Music VAVM003)

    This eponymously titled album just released on the recently launched V&V label is Davies' debut big band, but not first recording. What's it like? Well there are some passing similarities with the big bands of the Mikes (Gibbs and Westbrook) and certainly some nods to Loose Tubes. Fundamentally, though Jack Davies has his own voice. This RAM alumnus trumpeter has written & arranged all the tracks and the album was produced by Colin Towns who needs no introduction. This should rank as one of the best and most original albums of 2012. How, for example, could anyone fail to be impressed with the sheer vibrancy of Track 2 '(I had) A bad dream'?

    One tell-tale sign that this is an album not to ignore is that unlike so many CDs these days which try to cram in a full 79 minutes worth, with much often not worth the listening, here Jack Davies’ album weighs in at just under 50 minutes and, crucially, leaves the listener clamouring for more. The big band is populated by staff (Nick Smart and Martin Speake) and alumni of the Royal Academy of Music jazz department but this is by no means a “student” offering.

    The album is divided into two ‘halves’ with five standalone tracks followed by a Suite) in five parts. The opener, ‘Entropy’ starts introspectively, but soon builds to a majestic crescendo. The ‘1984 Suite’ opens frenetically, with ‘Telescreen’ and some passing similarity to the military band feel in parts of Mike Westbrook’s ‘Marching Song’, but this rapidly dissolves into a coruscating electric guitar solo by Alex Munk. Another standout moment is rendered by Joe Wright on ‘If there is hope’ with an exquisite and plaintive tenor solo. But it almost seems wrong to identify just two soloists from this ensemble when so many deliver such a high quality of soloing.

    This is a mature and sumptuously arranged work and if this is Davies’ first big band album, then who knows what he is capable of producing in the future? Take a listen. Highly recommended.

    http://www.jdaviesmusic.co.uk/

    Roger F

    "Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny." - Frank Zappa

    Ian Carr and Nucleus | Remembering Tubbs

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the tip, Roger - I'll have to get this soonest.

  3. #3
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    Got it now. This is my kind of music!

  4. #4
    Distracted dsschicago's Avatar
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    The big band album is solid, as is his concurrent small ensemble release Flea Circus.

    Davies put out two very different albums at the same time and they were both outstanding. It's a hell of a feat.

  5. #5
    Distracted dsschicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsschicago View Post
    The big band album is solid, as is his concurrent small ensemble release Flea Circus.

    Davies put out two very different albums at the same time and they were both outstanding. It's a hell of a feat.
    Here's a link to Davies' soundcloud page where you can stream three songs. Enough to at least give you something of an idea of what's going on.

    http://soundcloud.com/vandvmusic

  6. #6
    Registered User WestUpperZombie's Avatar
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    Bought this album on Roger's recommendation and I am not disappointed.
    Thanks for the heads up Roger.
    Happy Listening

    Ray.

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