Ron Davis Trio – Mungle Music
(Davinor – 2004)
by Matthew Robinson
To begin with, this is NOT music for relaxing. It IS music to sit up and take notice of. From the peppy intro to “D’hora,” Toronto-an pianist Davis demonstrates that he has his award-winning trio (drew Birston, bass; Ted Warren, drums) well in hand. While the live take of “Drew Bouree” switches back and forth between angular expositions and slippery group explorations, “Blues 54” makes full use of the reverberent studio. “Popeye” takes the familiar theme in fun new directions that would surely send the steroided sailor and his gaunt gal jitterbugging across the deck.
Guest sax Richard Underhill sobs about Davis’ “Down by 3” (a typical Toronto situation) but swings brightly through his own composition “Blues for Suze.” Davis’ appropriately-titled “Stop’n’ Start’n'” sounds like the theme song for an as-yet nonexistent TV show. N. Marshall Villeneuve’s “La Quiega” is full of Latin romp and fire and Davis’ own “Not What You Think” is equally paced and propulsive (see opening sentence). The album begins to wind down with the soprano sax swept Davis original “Summon Someone” before closing with a firm and fun rendition of “You Make Me Feel So Young” that is sure to induce finger snapping.
Overall, Davis makes good use of his own creativity and his talented team to create an album that should serve him well on both sides of the borderand beyond.
© 2004, M. S. Robinson, ARR