The Fresh Sound/New Talent series showcases up and coming players, those perhaps not yet well known but filled with promise, at least ideally. Funny thing about the volume by Jeff Davis, Leaf House (Fresh Sound/New Talent 407). It sounds anything but. I don't mean it doesn't sound new. It does. It doesn't sound "up and coming." It sounds most definitely "already there."
It's Jeff Davis on drums, Eivind Opsvik, contrabass, and Russ Lossing, piano, for a trio that has great power and finesse, something you don't expect from youthful, promising neophytes.
It's a set of Jeff Davis compositions that do a great job getting the trio into a spontaneously prosaic mode.
The trio gels beautifully. Jeff is loose, free, inventive, strong. Eivind is a beautiful bassist with sound command and note choice that take him far from the norm. Russ is a pianist of complexity and directness combined.
The ambiance of this date is something like the classic Paul Bley trios of his middle period--steeped in the tradition, working way outside the old tradition but run through with its essence.
Yet it sounds not like the Bley trios of yesterday, in that this is "new" music. Like how things go when they go right, it is steeped in the Bley tradition, so to speak, yet is working its way outside the tradition, though run through with its essence.
That can be how it goes. One to another bringing the one to the other and on again. How Leaf House goes. Don't miss this one.