Midnight Jazz

David Hansen expresses personal heartaches on fusion CD

September 23, 2008
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Reviewed by Vivian Fields

David Hansen/All That I Could Give

David Hansen certainly gives his all on this intimate and hopelessly romantic album; every track was written, produced, and arranged by himself. Hansen juggles several styles here – contemporary classical, jazz, New Age, Adult Contemporary, and world music – and manages to stitch them together in the context of moving ballads and spunky instrumentals. Snappy drums and upbeat keyboards produce a playful groove for the opening piece, “Armada.” The synthesized rhythms have a somewhat ’80s flavor that might remind you of fusion efforts from that era.

On the title track, we can hear Hansen’s voice for the first time; it is soulful and deep, not too different from Peter Gabriel’s. A tale of lost love, Hansen’s melancholy lyrics blend well with Joel Hips’ smooth-jazz riffs, increasing the pensive emotions of the piece. “Love in Three Days” thematically seems to be a continuation of it with Bob Mathis’ tropical flute adding an island flavor to the song. There has to be a personal heartache behind these compositions. Throughout the record Hansen balances the experimental tendencies of New Age with the fine craftsmanship of contemporary classical and the unguarded feelings of pop; whether he’s expressing himself wordlessly or through the warm glow of his singing, Hansen has us in the palm of his hands.



‘Vol. 2’ showcases live chops of Portland jazz quintet PDXV

July 24, 2008
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Reviewed by Vivian Fields

PDXV/Vol. 2

The Portland, Oregon-based jazz quintet PDXV shows off their live chops on this consistently mesmerizing disc. Recorded at Jimmy Mak’s in Portland on February 9, 2007, Vol. 2 could be used to teach young jazz musicians on how veteran cats cut it in front of an audience. The band is a delight to listen to, and the superlative sound recording captures each instrument’s distinct personality from Dave Captein’s thumping bass lines on┬áThelonious Monk’s “Trinkle Tinkle” to Randy Rollofson’s robust percussion on Nicolas Folmer’s “Rhythm Form” to Greg Goebel’s scenic piano on Fred Hersch’s “Rain Waltz.”

Whether or not you’re familiar with these compositions (the album consists of all covers), it doesn’t matter; if you have a serious appreciation for jazz, you will be thoroughly entertained by how PDXV weave through these intricate grooves. Some cuts, like “Rhythm Form” and Joe Henderson’s “Our Thing,” are bursting with energy; while others, such as Folmer’s “I Comme Icare,” have the laid-back soothing textures of a warm summer wind.


About author

Julian Wilson, Editor, has been writing about different genres of music, from jazz to techno, for nearly two decades in print.