Jamie Davis: It’s a Good Thing
2005 Unity Music, LLC
With a 25-Piece Orchestra of Rhythms (Bass, Drums, Piano, Guitar), Saxophones (Alto, Tenor, Baritone), Trombones, Trumpets, Percussion (Bongos, Congas, Clavé), Vibes, and Flute
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 24, 2006
This CD is red, hot Swing, with a 25-piece orchestra and Jamie Davis on vocals. The DVD in the album introduces the orchestra and shows the musicians meeting, rehearsing, and speaking of the Unity Music, LLC project, calling themselves a “family”. There’s obvious chemistry and cohesion among the players, and their versatility with swings and ballads is showcased in contrasting rhythms and moods.
#1 – Isn’t She Lovely – Composed by Stevie Wonder. The album opens with this buoyant, bouncy, breezy song. The fullness of the large orchestra, with blaring, brassy solos, sets the mood for dance-ability, listening, and genuine professional quality. Jamie Davis keeps his vocals clear and powerful.
#5 – Besame Mucho – Composed by Consuelo Velazquez. With an ethereal, exotic opening, Jamie Davis switches to whispery romance, and the Latin percussion adds Greg Errico’s clavé and transported style. A generous piano solo showcases Shelly Berg, while Davis seems to find his best range and tone.
#7 – Straight, No Chaser – Composed by Thelonius Monk. James Leary’s bass opens this sassy, scat track, with Davis showing even more versatility and verve. Trombones, saxes, and trumpets blaze forcefully, with energy and personality. These are obviously seasoned musicians.
#12 – Alright, Okay, You Win – Composed by Sid Wyche, Mayne Watts. The closing track is swinging with driven dance rhythms. Davis turns to New Orleans style soul, and the orchestra is kept mostly full, with some brass ensemble effects.
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