Recorded by ONE FOR ALL on OPTIMISM
Sharp Nine 1010-2 / February 16 & 17, 1998
||Medium up swing
This is a great opener, and it opened One For Alls second recording (Optimism) in 1998. The rhythm section sets an intriguing 4 measure vamp figure that the horns soon bounce off of. After an 8 measure question and answer bridge, the horns trill over a 4 measure latin bass line, then its back to the top. The solos start after an 8 measure interlude. Steve has added optional backgrounds for any soloist.
A note from the composer:
Optimism was composed in 1991 and first recorded by Jackie McLean on Fire & Love (Blue Note) in 1997. This up-tempo tune features a catchy melody layered over a sonic texture of shifting dominant 7th sus 4 chords and a propulsive, rhythmic vamp. This composition was inspired by the late great Tony Williams piece Warrior from Civilization (Blue Note), which utilizes dominant 7th sus 4 chords throughout the entire 21-bar form.
Inspired by the be-bop of the 1950s, Steve Davis has crafted a distinctive sound on the slide trombone. In addition to leading his own group, and serving as co-leader of One For All, Davis continues to perform with Chick Corea's sextet, Origin. I'm drawn to music which allows for creativity of expression," Davis said during a 2001 interview, music which challenges the listener (as well as the musicians playing it) to think, to imagine, to feel."
A native of Binghampton, New York, Davis grew up surrounded by music. His father had a huge collection of jazz, blues and rock records while his mother was an avid fan of the radio. Together with his younger brother, he developed a knack for harmonizing. Davis's musical abilities were inherited from his maternal grandmother, a self-taught stride piano player who performed in local restaurants. Although he taught himself to pick out bass lines on the piano, by the age of six, he studied trumpet, baritone saxophone and tuba in school. Switching to the trombone, in order to play with the high school stage/dance band, he discovered his natural musical voice.
Davis sharpened his technique while attending a summer jazz workshop at SUNY Binghampton in which the Bob Brookmeyer Sextet featuring Joe Lovano served as resident band. He later spent three years with the Binghampton Youth Symphony. He continued his studies at the University of Hartford's Hartt College of Music, where he was mentored by also saxophonist and music teacher Jackie McLean. Davis's first career break came when McLean recommended him to influential jazz drummer Art Blakey. After sitting in with Blakey's band during several gigs, he replaced Frank Lacy in 1989. He remained with the band until Blakey's death in 1990.
Teaching since 1985, Davis joined the jazz faculty at the University of Hartford's Hartt College of Music in 1991.
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