50 minutes of pure uncut solo sax – blues, funk, jazz, spirituals, and the ‘other fella’s music’. Not so much free jazz, but rather more avant-garde R&B, New Zealand sax player Phil Davison’s new album combines gutsy blues sax with abstract melodies and a strong sense of tradition in a solo saxophone format.
“There’s a beauty to the uncluttered melody, to just having the sax line by itself without other instruments,” says Phil. “I’ve always been interested in solo playing. You can work against silence, and you are free to take unexpected turns into new territory.”
The new album features material constructed from R&B fragments, using cells of melody developed and expanded on – as if to combine minimalist composition methods with the call-and-response of blues, and using that as a basis for improvisation. There’s a recipe, says Phil “If you analyse it, the album is 25% Funk, 20% Blues, 30% Jazz, 15% Spiritual, and 10% Classical. But that’s only for people who like analysing things. Maybe it’s best to just groove on it.”
Phil is known for his 1979 album ‘Songs for the Dead of Gandamak’ and more recently low budget horror films such as Kung Fu Vampire Killers and Ghost TV. More info on Phil as a musician here… http://phildavison.wordpress.com/bio/
And look here for Graham Reid’s review of Straight, Bent and Uncut: “The space around the sound allows you to hear a brusque woody tone, sophisticated smootheness, a yearning, soulfulness . . . From blues to reflective moods and through swing and funk, this is one to immerse yourself in. ”