Monday, June 18, 2012

CD Review: "DAVID CACERES"

David Caceres
I read some really good comments about alto saxophonist David Caceres in the past few months and  was very excited when I was asked to review David's latest CD "David Caceres".  David comes from Texas and belongs to a long line of talented family musicians. This enriched musical environment provided David with a foundation of jazz that he openly embraced and built upon. David earned a scholarship to The Berklee College of Music and graduated in 1989. It was during his years at Berklee that he developed his wonderful alto tone, dexterity and musical imagination. It was also during his years at Berklee that David found his singing voice. According to David, "It feels just as good to sing one note as it does to play one note. However, they have very different roles and somewhat different languages when used in the same song. The voice sets the tone of the tune, drawing the listener in with a direct, rather vulnerable statement. Then the sax is allowed to stretch out and explore some of the other emotional layers of the song." David plays and sings on most of the tracks on this CD, and the results are simply wonderful.  David's musical heros were John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, and you can hear the influence from these giants in his playing. His singing brings to mind the vocal sounds and style of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway.

This CD is marvelous in every aspect! David Caceres gets to showcase his skills as a alto saxophonist, vocalist and composer and the results are impressive. The selection of songs chosen for this CD work perfect together including two composed by David, "Sacred Path" and "Gratitude".  The song list clearly indicates that much time and thought expended to select the 11 great songs. I particularly liked Ray Lamontagne's folk/pop number "You Can Bring Me Flowers", Van Morrison's "The Way That Lovers Do" and the two Stevie Wonder compositions, "Seems So Long" and "Bird of Beauty".  David also has a wonderful singing performance of Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight".

David is supported by a sterling group of musicians: arranger and keyboardist, Gil Goldstein, bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Bill Stewart organist Shedrick Mitchell, percussionist Bashiri Johnson, guitarist Larry Campbell and pianist Aaron Parks. Gil Goldstein's arrangements were perfect!

The producer of this CD was Matt Pierson and deserves outstanding recognition for the high level professional level of skill and talent that he provided to produce this musically wonderful product.



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