Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tim Davies Big Band: Dialmentia

Origin Arts
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 11.05.09
Buy CD: Dialmentia

You don't often encounter drummers who also are composers, arrangers and producers; Tim Davies is a member of that relatively small fraternity.

He also leads a really big band that usually features (according to his Web site) “a mixture of jazz, hip-hop and death metal.” It's certainly all of that. The cadre includes nine reeds, eight trumpets, four trombones, two guitarist, two bassists, two keyboardists — I assume these pairs split duties on the various tracks, but I could be wrong — a percussionist (in addition to Davies, who is drummer and leader), a cello and a lady who plays a didjeridu.

Surprisingly, they don't sound the least bit cluttered, and it all swings like crazy.

The Australian-born Davies began to play drums when he was 12, formed his first big band in Melbourne in 1998, and his second in 2000 when he moved to the United States. He composed seven of these nine tunes and arranged all of them. One of the two tunes he didn't compose — a riff on “Caravan” — is of particular interest; to paraphrase Davies, “It's the way Duke Ellington would have written it if he'd lived in the age of hip-hop.”

You know what? I think he's right.

In his “spare” time, Davies is an in-demand composer, arranger, orchestrator and conductor for film, TV and recordings. He's very busy and quite talented, and one of the tastiest and most controlled drummers who has come down the pike in a long time.

No comments: