Autumn Leaves (Joseph Kosma) [5:29]
TOTAL PLAYING TIME
Roger Davidson is a gifted pianist and composer and fluent in many
styles of music, ranging from classical to bebop to Latin jazz.
This disc, released in 2016, is the third in a series of live
performances recorded at Caffe Vivaldi in Greenwich Village, New
York City, where Roger and friends have performed regularly since
2012. All three albums feature different styles of Latin and
Brazilian-themed jazz. Volume 1 was released in February 2015 and
featured Roger on piano with bassist Pablo Aslan. In May 2015
Soundbrush Records released Volume 2, featuring Roger performing
with bassist David Finck and drummer Adriano Santos. On this third
release, Roger performs solo on piano and plays 16 songs. Cole
Porter wrote I Love You in 1944 for the musicalMexican Hayride. Joseph Kosma composed Autumn Leaves in 1945, with French lyrics by Jacques
Prevert and Engish lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Roger performs both
ballads using similar arrangements, beginning the first verse
slowly with languid, wandering musical explorations, then finding
an appropriate Latin rhythm to improvise and develop for the rest
of the number. Roger composed the other 14 songs on this disc. Alegria Brasileira, translated as “Brazilian joy”, is a
charming samba with a bright melody and quick, happy rhythm. Roger
alternates the melody line between single note runs and full block
chords, adding to the texture and color. Another lovely samba, Crianca Feliz, (“happy child”), is in the same vein, a
cheerful dancing melody to a bouncy samba beat, with interesting
chord changes and dynamic piano keyboard effects.Dia Feliz sounds like a honky-tonk version of Back Home Again In Indiana, composed in 1897 by James F.
Hanley, and is well-played but sounds out of place here and doesn’t
fit the Brazilian theme of the rest of the album. Um Amor, Um Abraco (“one love, one embrace”), is a slow,
dynamic tango, performed with alternating right and left hand
melodies to beautiful effect. Entardecer is a delightfully
melodic Spanish waltz, designed with a structure of embellished
descending chords, slowly dancing their way down the scale, before
leaping to the top to start again.
This music was recorded live at Caffe Vivaldi, located at 32 Jones
Street, New York City. Luis Bacque performed the recording and
mastering. Roger Davidson is the executive producer.
The liner notes are brief and limited to the disc cover. The sound
quality is very good.