Monday, April 18, 2016

David Restivo - The Waves (2016)

Label: Self Released
Source: Bandcamp
GAB'S RATING: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆  

David Restivo is an award-winning pianist and composer and educator, well-known for his work with Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, the Mike Murley Quintet, and legendary songwriter Marc Jordan. Born in Lansing, Michigan, molded by the mountains and coasts of New England, and based primarily in Toronto, Canada since 1982, he has long been a sought-after and influential figure in Canada’s jazz community. He has performed and recorded with such renowned artists as Dave Holland, Curtis Fuller, Mel Tormé, Kenny Wheeler, Jon Hendricks, and David Clayton-Thomas.

The Waves is a window into the array of implications and potentialities contained within the postmodern jazz landscape. It hearkens back to the classic jazz quintet lineup of the 1950s and ‘60s, and to the idea of the album, a cycle of songs that, while diverse in mood and intent, flow together to form a complete artistic statement. The music looks to the future whilst firmly rooted in the traditions of the past. The spirits of Coltrane, Davis, Shorter, Hancock, Corea, Jarrett, Brecker, Joe Henderson, Ornette Coleman, Kenny Wheeler, and Woody Shaw form the molten core of this music, while those of latter-day apostles like Brian Blade, Kenny Garrett, Dave Douglas, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gerald Clayton, Walter Smith III, and the Marsalis brothers radiate at the surface. Bits of DNA from outside the jazz realm¬– from Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Joni Mitchell, Bach, and Mahler– permeate the atmosphere in subtle ways that might be perceived by the discerning listener.

The title is evocative of the experiential power of music, of waves of sound that can wash over you like the waves of the ocean. The Waves is also the name of a 1931 novel by Virginia Woolf in which there is no external dialogue– all of the ‘action’ takes place inside each of the characters’ minds, so the reader is left to piece the story together from a series of alternating soliloquies representing each person’s inner narrative and perspective. The beauty of Jazz is that it provides a framework for both musician and audience member to project their own narratives onto. I may have created the basic storyline, but each performer and listener is left to discover his or her own truth within that structure.

“…simply one of the most exceptional jazz pianists of his generation that Canada can boast of…” Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

“As a soloist, he gives full rein to a flow of post-bop ideas and styles, with long, searching developments.” John Styles, The Argus (Brighton, UK)

“…some good messaging of the blues…” John McDonough, Downbeat

“[Restivo] seemed unfazed by any stylistic or technical concerns whatsoever…a hint of wildness there…[He] had all the requisite hard bop clichés at hand, but wove them effortlessly into broader, sweeping improvisations.” Mark Miller, Globe and Mail

“Restivo is deep down lyrical but he's willing to force the pace… He can be measured and methodical, yet happily inhabits contemporary cutting-edge territory with nuanced variations, without being blustery or confrontational.” Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star