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