The N. Glenn Davis Quintet with Special Guest, Phil Woods – Come Right In – Jazzed Media JM 1044, 61:33 ****1/2:
(N. Glenn Davis, drums; Dave Sterner, alto and soprano sax; Jack Schantz, trumpet and flugelhorn; Mark Soskin, piano; Dean Johnson, bass; special guest Phil Woods on tracks 1, 4, & 6)
The sophomore follow-up to the 2007 Jazzed Media release, A Different View, is another winner. Reviewed here, A Different View was a classy release where Davis’ in the pocket
drum skills were shared with saxophonist Sterner on a largely original composition session. The new Davis Quintet also features mostly self composed selections, and ups the ante a bit by including alto superstar, Phil Woods, as well as former Sonny Rollins’ pianist, Mark Soskin; as well as ghost band veteran trumpeter, Jack Schantz, who also serves as the artistic director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. After attending the Berklee School of Music, Davis has also made Cleveland his own stomping grounds.
Come Right In continues his Jazzed Media resume with more infectious tunes. The title track swings like mad with Schantz and Sterner having front line exposure with soulful solos. Soskin’s piano solo shimmers and Davis is right there driving the message home. Fumba Rumba is a vehicle for Sterner to show off his soprano sax chops and I dug the power of Schantz on trumpet. Dean Johnson’s bass talents are on full display as well.
The Tadd Dameron tribute, Just a Tadd, showcases Phil Woods and Sterner. Dameron’s own If You Could See Me Now also gets the Woods’ ballad mastery, backed by Schantz and Soskin. It’s a gorgeous rendition! Wakin’ Up Blues brings the Adderley Brothers to mind in its joyful strut.
Bill Evans’ Time Remembered gives the rhythm section a chance to chance to show their prowess and Soskin’s piano shimmers backed by Davis’ comping. The quintets telepathic interplay is featured on the two closing tracks, Alex’s Song and Minor Backup.
Both N. Glenn Davis and Graham Carter’s Jazzed Media continue their winning ways with Come Right In. Who knows what’s next with Davis and company when they shoot for the trifecta in near future. How ‘bout an octet or big band session soon?
TrackList: A Different Day, Come Right In, Fumba Rumba, Just a Tadd, Warm Smile, If You Could See Me Now, Wakin’ Up Blues, Time Remembered, Alex’s Song, Minor Backup
– Jeff Krow