Lucid Culture


A Hard-Swinging New Chordless Album From Saxophonist David Detweiler

Tenor saxophonist David Detweiler’s previous album New York Stories was an unpredictable, colorful, cosmopolitan collection…a vivid reflection of what this city used to be was before the lockdown. His long-awaited new album The Astoria Suite – streaming at Spotify – is more stripped-down. a real change of pace. Much of this is a chordless trio record, a serious showcase for Detweiler’s creative tunesmithing and slightly smoky-tone. What does all this have to do with a celebrated Queens neighborhood which until March of last year was flourishing with tavernas and a long-entrenched Greek population?

It’s a pretty much relentlessly bustling, upbeat record, which might explain a lot. It opens with Blues For H and A, a brisk swing tune built around a cheery, dancing riff that Detweiler shifts further and further outside as bassist Mikailo Kasha walks the scales and drummer Leon Anderson adds subtle accents on his snare.

Trombonist Kevin Jones joins the group and contributes the album’s second number, Jonesy, with more of a spring-loaded swing and a bluesiness that’s much more allusive. Detweiler keeps the frenetic pace going with Lookout, running eights, choosing his spots as Anderson adds more color and splash along with a flurrying, tightly contained solo.

The three kick off track four, Route, with a wry “let’s go” riff, Anderson building a tongue-in-cheek conspiratorial solo: it’s here that Detweiler starts to echo the uneasy modalities of JD Allen. Jones returns for another one of his tunes, Singularity, working gruffly through the highs, the bandleader adding a more lowdown solo over a fast swing.

Song For Julie, the album’s lone ballad, is ironically the album’s showstopper, Detweiler and then Kasha taking plaintive, spare solos, the bandleader then working enigmatically up to a decisive victory. The group pick up the pace with a modal bite and hint of a circling qawwali beat in Twilight: it may not be dark yet, but this party is already going strong. They close with the album’s catchiest number, Under the Dome, evoking minor-key Coltrane without ripping him off.


February 1, 2021 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saxophonist David Detweiler Brings His Thoughtful, Tuneful Style to a Hometown Florida Gig

Tenor saxophonist David Detweiler has a lyrical, purposeful style, a somewhat smoky tone and a New York connection. His forthcoming release, The Astoria Suite, is scheduled for early 2021. His most recent album, New York Stories is streaming at Spotify. His next gig is a chordless trio set on Oct 16 at 7 PM at the Wine House on Market St. 1355 Market St., Ste. A-1 in Tallahassee, Florida with bassist Brian Hall and drummer Michael Bakan; there’s no cover.

New York Stories is a diverse collection, reflecting the many moods this city would conjure back in the late zeros – a far cry from the relentless gloom and terror of the Cuomo lockdown. It’s a serious reminder of everything that’s been taken away from us, and how desperately we need to get it back! The album opens with Central Station, a briskly pulsing, catchy, straight-ahead swing tune in the early 60s Prestige tradition, anchored by pianist Chris Pattishall’s spare, dark chords as the bandleader floats and flurries overhead. The piano solo takes the bandleader’s ebullience up a notch to wind up the song on a high note.

Detweiler opens Times Change with a balmy lyricism over the low-key syncopation of bassist Clarence Seay and drummer Leon Anderson, Pattishall again fueling an upward drive with his spirals. Home Again is a similarly hummable, vintage soul-tinged song without words set to a steady clave, with a sinuous solo from guitarist Rick Lollar, Detweiler hitting a memorable peak midway through, with an intertwining sax/guitar duel on the way out.

Anderson and Pattishall scramble and Seay racewalks the changes as The Opening, an uneasily bustling swing tune, gathers steam, Detweiler and Pattishall maintaining the charge in turn. Foreground quickly morphs into a similarly moody jazz waltz, Detweiler hitting a series of peaks and pulling the whole band up with him; a sudden lull and handoff to Lollar’s blues-infused solo comes as a surprise.

They go back to upbeat, pulsing swing with Sleuth, Detweiler pushing hard against the edges, Pattishall dancing between the raindrops, Lollar firing off another purist, crescendoing solo. They close the album with Wakeful, a sunset-tinged midtempo clave number. If this is what New York inspired in Detweiler, one can only imagine how colorful his Astoria might be.

October 9, 2020 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment