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Andy Davies Quartet 
 Ueffilo Jazz Club - Gioia del Colle (BA) 19th March 2005
by 
Alceste Ayroldi
photos di Marco Losavio
translation Chrissie Oppedisano

Fai click qui per leggere la versione in italiano

The quartet led by the Welsh Andy Davies opened their Spring Italian Tour at Ueffilo–Cantina a Sud jazz club in Gioia Del Colle (Ba),

The band is the perfect synthesis of European unity in that all the musicians come from different regions of Europe, although joined by the same musical matrix. Two of them attended the prestigious Trinity College in London. Joining Andy Davies, trumpeter, is Swedish pianist Eivind Lodemel; on the electric bass from Italy, Lorenzo Bassignani; and on drums, Reinis Axelsson from Norway.

This multiethnic formation is evidenced in the sound offered by the interesting quartet.

The stylistic influences of the very young Andy Davies are similar to those already created by Chet Baker and other sonorities, like Paolo Fresu's, are brightened by the fullness, elaboration and creativity of the other young musicians.

This evening The Andy Davies Quartet kicked off their tour by presenting their first CD released by Coffee and Apple Records (to which the last piece on the recording is devoted). Seven very intense and different pieces, both from the stylistic and essential point of view are heard on the CD. It must be said that there are no standard jazz classics on this recording and therefore, one isn't able to adequately measure the capacity of the quartet, but the compositions are all very interesting, saturated with a certain, ‘very British' melancholy.

The concert almost follows the playlist of the album. The voice of the trumpet of Davies is dirty and biting to the correct point. The solid and vigorous drumming of Axelsson assisted by the metronomic Bassignani support the romantic, creative lines of the leader but never mince. Determined and sparkling, Lodemel caresses and vehemently strikes the piano as needed. He manages with the consummate ability of one who has considerable experience behind him, always careful to maintain rhythm and harmony.

The most acrid sounds alternated with sweet and sad sonorities which permeated an urban, dry imagery.

Shibuya Blues and Baby the Night Has Come have some suitably jagged webs, rich with seductive rhythmic changes.

The pieces move within the coordinates of mainstream neo-bop. The harmonic passages and the creative changes were a dominant characteristic of the concert and, obviously, of the album. Obese with Rejection is a pleasant surprise with its atypical lyricism.

Monkey tennis demonstrates once more the good grasp and exactness of Lodemel's playing. The absence of rhythmic-harmonic schemes is a gift; it is the positive element that divides the sound and it makes it more appetizing.

The second set began with a brief JAM. Andy Davies called American singer (now in Italy for some time), Chrissie Oppedisano, to the stage. The Californian vocalist introduced two pieces to the set, the first being the classic Route 66. The harmonic cadences and rhythms of the piece livened up even more the flow of ideas from the quartet who performed it with great authority. Oppedisano's voice transmitted great versatility during the execution, deeply interplaying with the piano and the trumpet.

The Italian-American singer then dedicated A Foggy Day to Andy Davies, the Welsh leader of the quartet who, always with disarming simplicity and pleasantness was almost blushing! Thanks to this impromptu performance, one was able to hear the British quartet play classic swing. This removed any doubts regarding the quartet's technical and unrehearsed performance abilities.

Oppedisano's captivating voice interweaved with every single instrument extolling every single note in perfect harmony with feeling and professionalim.

The slanting phrases of Bulgaria, the soft and ambiguously blue melody of Spin the Guinea Pig and the fascinating Coffee and Apple, koinès of British and Scandinavian sounds, closed the quartet's performance.

The encore, requested fervently by the crowd, was a standard: Cherokee, whose strength was loaded with expressive positive tension was performed at an elevated tempo with extreme professionalism. Lodemel's solo was played at an advanced level, his fingers moving on the keyboard with decision and to accelerated rhythms exalting Davies' phrases freeing sounds in the air demonstrating an uncommon rhythmic control. A group with a strong, notable understanding and distinguished interplay.

The public's applause was decisive and convincing.


Video File (3.4MB)
19th march 2005


Andy Davies Quartet
andydaviesquartet







Related articles:
09/08/2005

Interview with Andy Davies: "...I hope we can say something for European Jazz...I love American jazz but I do not think European Jazz gets enough credit..." (Marco Losavio)





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Publishing Date: 29/03/2005

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