Ryan Davidson Trio
Self-Titled from Debris Field Records
Canadian guitarist Ryan Davidson straddles the worlds of country music and jazz with the adroit of a culinary chef who is apt in making dishes with flavors from multiple cultures. Its impossible to pigeonhole Davidson’s music to one style. He traverses through a gamut of sonic milieus on his new self-titled release from Debris Field Records covering country western, nightclub swing, improvised jazz, simmering ballads, and pure rock. Produced by his trio which consists of Ryan Hagler on bass and Ryan Jacobi on drums, the album merges genres that have made odd bed-fellows in the past.
Jazz and country seem like two opposing forces, one spawned from city life and the other inspired by rural living. Davidson brings them together as if they were a visceral part of one another applying the principles of improvisation with at country flange as shown in his rendition of “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” His treatment of this vintage tune brings out new attractions in the chord dynamics, which refresh the melodic patterns. The gradual building up of crescendos and the slow descents which Davidson alternate along “If You Need Me” is alluring. He transitions to a rock-based tunage in “Texas Oracle” with guitar riffs that roar and claw with gusto, and then dissolve into slender sprigs of chord movements. Contrasting the reflective musings which Davidson channels in his interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight.”
“Captain Positive” coordinates familiar swing-imbued motifs with a country flange and spurts of improvisation in the drum patterns. “Out of Nowhere” is an eclectic mix of vibrating guitar effects and splashing cymbal strikes bound by intervals of spontaneous arcs made by the acoustic bass. The dotted notes of “Im Wunderschonen Monat Mai” have a natural flow, albeit moving in unpredictable directions, while the balladry tendrils of “Conditional” have a set landscape that’s sonically soothing.
Ryan Davidson’s Trio are one of a kind. They wrap their instruments around multiple genres and produce compositions that are sonically interesting and aurally pleasing. They jump between genres with a seamless stride and make it all sound so good.
Ryan Davidson – guitar, Ryan Hagler – bass, and Ryan Jacobi – drums
Ghost Riders in the Sky, Im Wunderschonen Monat Mai (In Beautiful May), Captain Postive, Out of Nowhere, Conditional, ‘Round Midnight, If You Need Me, Texas Oracle