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Gettin It Down

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

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Audio CD, July 17, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Calling trombonist Steve Davis a veteran is probably inappropriate after all, he was a mere 44 year-old when he recorded Gettin' It Done in October, 2011. However, he has such a wealth of experience, such a command of his instrument and such a rich back catalog of recordings that based on his body of work rather than his birthday such a soubriquet is not so out of place. Gettin' It Done is a worthy addition to the Davis discography: a swinging, beautifully performed and exceptionally well-recorded sextet outing. The album contains two covers, both classic tunes, given a fresh and vibrant sound by the sextet. John Coltrane's "Village Blues" opens the album as the band sets the scene with a passionate and coolly swinging performance that ups the tempo compared to the Coltrane Jazz (Atlantic, 1961) original which, coincidentally, features bassist Steve Davis. There's also a take on Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" that showcases both Davis' warm, rich tone and Josh Bruneau's bright, brassy sound. Davis' own compositions range from the smooth swing of "Steppin' Easy" to the punchy and up-tempo "Gettin' It Done." As might be expected from a player who was mentored by the great Curtis Fuller and who's collaborated with Jackie McLean and Art Blakey, among many others, Davis writes a mean hard bop number. As the gentle, late-night groove of "Alike" shows, he can also write a romantic ballad, and his performance on the tune also demonstrates the more romantic and considered side of his playing. Alto saxophonist and fellow Posi-Tone artist Mike DiRubbo is the only sextet member to have joined Davis on his previous album, Images The Hartford Suite (Posi-Tone, 2010), although pianist Larry Willis and bassist Nat Reeves have a long history of collaborations with Davis. The sextet impresses on every track, a dynamic and intuitive ensemble that offers sympathetic support to the solos and proves itself eminently capable of laying down whatever Davis asks of it a tight, funky, groove ("The Beacon"), a sultry swing ("Wishes") or straight-ahead mid-tempo drive ("Longview") are all delivered with style. The music on Gettin' It Done is the creation of a band that does much more than simply getting things done. Davis and his fellow musicians play with flair and an enthusiasm for the music that bursts out of the speakers. This is one of Davis' most impressive albums and one of the most enjoyable straight-ahead albums of 2012. --Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz

The latest and most appropriately titled release from trombone wizard Steve Davis proves that both Davis and his label Posi-Tone are if nothing but consistent in releasing some of the finest in straight ahead jazz. Variety, texture and some out of sight cover art make Gettin' It Done a most impressive release with producer Marc Free getting that classic Rudy Van Gelder sound down but with his own unique touch. This sextet swings hard and at times sounds dangerously close to a small orchestra of perhaps double the size. Davis is what I refer to as a stealth musician, widely respected but never getting as much attention as he may deserve - until now! Kicking things off with more of a mid tempo number the classic John Coltrane "Village Blues" is a nice adventure is shifting harmonics and the horn section which is rounded out with Josh Bruneau on trumpet and Mike DiRubbo are on point with every note. The syncopated pop of the title track "Getting It Done" is a hard charging blast. The one tune I thought that may be a musical landmine is the cover of "Sunny." The arrangement of "Sunny" takes the adult contemporary radio standard and flips it to a deceptively subtle swing which is a stroke of genius. One of the best tunes on this spotless release. Toss in a gorgeous ballad such as "Alike" and you have that nice all most forgotten working band sound that allows each member to shine. No bumps in the road here. Arguably the best recording of Steve Davis to date. The rhythm section is worked out with Billy Williams on drums, Nat Reeves on bass and Larry Willis on piano and these guys sound like they have worked together for twenty years. I have long maintained you need to learn a little about a record label when it comes to making a purchase and Posi-Tone is simply classic swing brought up to date with some of the finest talent on the scene and Steve Davis is a perfect example. From rock star cover art to inventive covers and great originals this disc swings. Period. An easy 5 stars. --Brent Black, @ Critical Jazz


Product details

  • Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 5 x 0.05 inches; 1.28 Ounces
  • Manufacturer : Positone Records
  • Date First Available : June 21, 2012
  • Label : Positone Records
  • ASIN : B008CHLPZC
  • Number of discs : 1
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings