Jenny Davis : Rearranged Review
By Griff Stevens
Seattle based composer, vocalist, and bandleader Jenny Davis delves deeply into her compositional process on her fourth full-length album, Rearranged. As the title suggests, Davis brings forth her profoundly personal statement. Combining her background as an advocate for change, it is an album where the composer takes center-stage. All but three works are penned by Davis. The collection highlights her activist life complimented with an inspiring and socially relevant consciousness. The album brings together an all-star cast of musicians with whom Davis has previously collaborated, including a special alliance with three-time GRAMMY-nominated pianist, Jovino Santos Neto.
Beginning with “Aceptar,” Davis has composed a particularly dreamy bossa nova that exudes a passion that is determinate of Brazilian traditions. Tenorist Kurt Festinger weaves an amorous solo punctuated by Neto and rhythmically driven by bassist Chuck Deardorf and drummer Jeff Busch. The Herbie Hancock tune “And What If I Don’t” receives a playful arrangement by Seattle bassist Tim Carey. Davis has a bounce in her delivery that gives the song a playful essence that switches from a straight-eight feel to a rollicking swing, accented by the horns giving the tune a punch that sticks.
Davis features a variety of rhythms and styles from her pen and chooses well-placed covers, and an example of this is Bob Telson’s “Calling You.” The salt of a vocalist can always be found in a ballad. Davis’ voice is a beacon in the darkness, her angelic head voice resonates with a crystalline serenity that is hauntingly beautiful. Whereas “Gemini Tango” brings focus to the Argentinean art form in all its suggestiveness. On this tune, the authenticity of the accordion is employed by David Lange, and Heather Bentley lends the violin to give the song its sensuality and panache. Lyrically Davis explores the relation between tango and the inveiglement of astrology.
There is so much to explore on Rearranged each tune’s odyssey is that of a fully-fledged composer who has skillfully crafted an opus of collected experiences and memories and lovingly shares them with her audience. Davis is a skilled artisan and storyteller, which makes the experience all the richer.
Release Date: December 18, 2019
Label : Three Penny Records