Monday, December 19, 2016

Roger Davidson Solo Piano at Cafe Vivaldi

Roger Davidson
Live at Cafe Vivaldi Volume 3
Soundbrush Records

In 2012, Soundbrush Records started a regular Wednesday night performance series at the venerable Caffe Vivaldi in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The timeless cafe became their informal home. In 2013 Soundbrush Records began recording these performances. "Live at Cafe Vivaldi Volume 3," is the third release featuring pianist, composer and label founder Roger Davidson who is best known as a classical artist. The first two were duo and trio recordings, and this one is a solo recording.

14 of the 16 selections are Davidson's Brazilian inspired compositions with renditions of Cole Porter's "I Love You," and Joseph Kosma's "Autumn Leaves." Davidson impresses as a pianist and composer with the touch and fluidity of his playing as well as the liveliness of the performances starting with the opening "Alegria Brasiliera," while at other times his playing has a stately eloquence as on "Bossa Para VocĂȘ." He can convey considerable beauty ("Amazing You" and "Saudade Do Brasil") and charm ("Amor Brasileiro"). At times his compositions recall jazz classics as "Dia Feliz," a musical cousin to "Back Home In Indiana," which also sports some of his most intriguing improvisations as does his first lyrical rendering and then imaginative deconstruction of "I Love You."

This is a wonderfully recorded by Luis Bacque with the audience audible at the conclusion of these most charming and delightful performances.

I received my review copy from a  publicist. This review originally appeared in the September-October Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 368). Here is a video of Roger Davidson performing (with a bassist).

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