The result of this combination of musicians and material is a treat for those who take their jazz straight. Charles Davis plays tenor with passion and deep feeling throughout...there isn't a dud track on the whole album. I'd say that they don't make them like this any more, except that they obviously have!
"Fans of vintage Blue Note albums should flock to this one."
"Whether as the emotional journey of a man coming to terms with the death of his beloved, or simply as top notch jazz, For the Love of Lori is one fine album."
"The now 81 year-old saxophonist plays with his usual lucidity, focus, and incisiveness, qualities that explain why he has been called upon by such a wide range of artists over his long career, from Billie Holiday and Ben Webster, to John Coltrane and Abdullah Ibrahim."
"a refreshingly honest and genuinely passionate tribute to a lost love and an affirmative commemoration of her life."
Each of the players on the session is a freaky good New York musician with the highest of credentials. It’s all straight ahead, beautiful and respectful. I only wish there were more records like this these days.
Walton must be smiling from ear to ear in Rick Germanson's pristine piano work throughout For the Love of Lori, especially in Cedar's Blues, and Lori herself has to be beaming that the paean to her is as hip as it is sweetly aching. Kenny, I know, is grooving behind his tribute, be-bop bad boy that he was, as it's a swinging affair on the mellow side but brimming with élan, with vivacity. Davis, though, is the mainstay and has lost none of his verve or chops, whether in jaunty quotations, the long elastic notes of Lori, or the even more fluidly boppy Blues. There are, then, many reasons to catch this disc, but the main one is that it's just damn good
"This is real jazz as real jazz was meant to sound, without a lot of fanfare, gimmicks, bells, whistles, or excuses....It’s not often a jazz artist nowadays so fully embraces straight-ahead jazz the way Charles Davis and his recording band do. It’s nice to hear guys like Germanson, Smith, bassist David Williams, trombonist Steve Davis, and trumpeter Joe Magnarelli continue to uphold the fine legacy of this dying art, as most everyone else tries to update their status quo chasing after newer and crazier fusions."
A sturdy and highly capable three-horn front line—the leader (Charles Davis), trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, and trombonist Steve Davis—takes center stage time and again, joining forces to flesh out heads and standing apart for back-to-back-to-back solo spots. These three men complement each other and provide balance throughout....As a soloist, Charles Davis tends to speak in sentences, not streams of thought. His thoughtful ideas are filled with punctuation and pauses, and his vast experience and taste informs his every statement.
I kept replaying the first cut over and over again. Davis has a warm, lush sound on saxophone that makes this listener sit back and turn up my CD speakers.....The entire ensemble works together like a well oiled machine. Rick Germanson is solid on piano, as part of a formidable and supportive rhythm section. David Williams is fluid on upright bass, playing his whole-tone accompaniment with careful articulation. The final original, "Into the Himalayas," quickly became one of my favorites. "Cedar's Blues" in celebration of Cedar Walton and arranged by Germanson, rewarded my ears with a featured solo from the bassist.
CHARLES DAVIS’, FOR THE LOVE OF LORI is in memory of his wife who died in April 2012. Sharing this sextet date is Steve Davis[tbn], Rick Germanson[p], David Williams[b] Joe Magnarelli[tpt] and Neal Smith[dms]. Charles Davis led records are not too often and I always hope for more than I usually receive as I feel he has long been an underrated sax man. Just to narrow it even further I think he almost stands alone playing ballads on soprano. This record aside from its eponomis title tribute also follows the death of Cedar Walton, who was scheduled to be on this date and with whom Davis played for over half a century. The recording taken in context with those incidents projects an emotional power that might not be evident to the listener unfamiliar with the facts. Steve Davis’ trombone gives a nice burnish color and Joe Magnarelli also brings a sober note to the proceedings. Two of the tunes, “For The Love Of Lori” and “Cedar Blues” are obvious emotional evokers as is “ KD”, Davis’ tribute to Kenny Dorham, and “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “What’ll I Do”. For whatever reason it is, the leader is seemingly able to reach out through grief and perhaps even by enlisting good memories effectively makes his plaintive solos stand out. An artist’s testament.
An unassailable sax man that has played with everyone from Billie Holiday forward, he brings his powers as a player and leader to bear here to the fullest extent. A set for real musos looking for some real jazz, your ears have a great stopping place here before they continue the journey. Well done.
The title track is a deeply moving ballad and the combination of Magnarelli’s mellifluous trumpet and Charles’ tenor (with hints of early Coltrane) will melt the hardest heart....the intriguing song selection make the purchase of this Charles Davis CD highly recommended. It is well recorded and mixed, which makes it acquisition that much more of a wise decision
For the Love of Lori: Strong outing from jazz giant Davis, who has lent his saxophone to some wonderful music over the decades. Joined by trombonist Steve Davis, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, drummer Neal Smith, pianist Rick Germanson, and bassist David Williams, Charles Davis and crew dive right into some serious bop. Music with a joyful swing and some smoking solos. Top shelf jazz that won’t be confused for anything else.
Blue Gardenia: This was a good idea: getting the 70-year old saxophonist Charles Davis, who has played in supporting roles with Dinah Washington, Steve Lacy, Kenny Dorham, Sun Ra, Barry Harris and others, to make a lasting artifact as a bandleader. For a tiny independent label, Reade Street Records, it didn't take much more than setting him up with the new version of the pianist Cedar Walton's trio, a crackling example of jazz's maturing mainstream.
On tenor, Davis sends a lovely melodic message that calls upon his vast experience for flavor. “Texas Moon” recalls time he’s spent on the road with Hank Crawford, while “Blues for Yahoo” moves more in the hard bop direction of New York City. Yahoo is the producer’s dog, who must have inherited Charlie Parker’s up-tempo grit. Either that, or he simply reminded Davis of Bird’s unique soul. Blue Gardenia, a solid straight-ahead album, swings with tradition and a true, blues-based spirit.
Charles Davis is one of those musicians who has capably plied his craft for over 50 years, working alongside disparate characters like Sun Ra and Thad Jones while garnering little or no commercial recognition for his meager but excellent output as a leader. On Blue Gardenia everything about Charles Davis and his playing smacks of hard bop from the '50s and '60s....he blows with more conviction and experience than most horn players half his age.
There’s a difference between the elder statesmen in jazz and the newer firebrands, no matter how talented. One is the former’s ability to take their time to tell a story. They’ve been around life and they’re not in a rush. Like Dexter was. And Prez. Out of that mold is 70-year-old Charles Davis, displaying his rich tenor sax sound and strong baritone sax work on his new CD Blue Gardenia, titled as much for his admiration for Dinah Washington as for his association with Billie Holiday. He played with both, but longer with Washington. He’s not a household name in jazz, but his resume is impressive – as is his new music.
There is almost no one left alive who can exploit the darkly evocative expressive potential of the baritone saxophone like Davis. "Shadow of the Sunset" is a response to the events of 9/11 by Martinican pianist Michel Sardaby. The eruptive force of Davis' instrument is restrained by the subject matter into a solemn, unsentimental contemplation. (Cedar Walton's solo is concise but leaves nothing unsaid. His touch has the fine patina that comes only from decades of application.)