David Basse at the Metropolitan Room
On the ninth of January, David Basse returns to New York's Metropolitan Room to join his pal Marilyn Maye for a double bill. Maye performs at 7pm with Basse doing the 9:30pm set. Basse's band will include veteran bassist Curtis Lundy, pianist Richard Johnson, and drummer Jason Brown. "With the soul of a bon vivant and the spirit of a hipster, Basse scats with insouciance, reels you into ballads with a raconteur's charm, " said George Kansler in Hot House magazine, when speaking about Basse's August 2012 performance at the Metropolitan. Over the following weekend Lundy, Johnson, and Basse are joined by saxophonist Stacey Dillard and Basse leads his ensemble at Harlem Nights, an APAP showcase at Manhattan's Midtown Hilton, and then heads to Chris' Jazz Club in Philadelphia on January 15.
These dates lead to a recording session with the new band, and Basse's follow up to his celebrated 2012 Café Pacific release "Uptown." Last summer, the disc reached well into the top 50 on Jazz Week and continues to receive airplay on Sirius XM. Last June, Scott Albin of Jazz Times said about Uptown, "The rich substance, clear intonation and sincerity of delivery that are all qualities of Basse's style… shades of Eddie Jefferson all the way, " and in July LA writer Scott Yanow added, "Basse, who has a lived-in voice that is sometimes a little raspy, is a hip and swinging singer who digs into the lyrics that he sings."
Christopher Loudon of Jazz Times wrote, "A particularly terrific 2001 disc placed Basse, whose gruff voice occupies the median between Curtis Stigers and Steve Tyrell, alongside pianist Mike Melvoin." Vocalist David Basse has recorded and produced projects with Phil Woods, Bobby Watson, and Les McCann. He produced a 2004 instrumental disc, featuring Melvoin and members of Woods long time award winning ensemble, garnering a Grammy nomination. Purchasing all of Basse's discs at a recent gig, iconic American poet Maya Angelou was compelled to proclaim to the vocalist, "I love the soul that is your voice."
The working title of David Basse's 2013 recording project is, "The hero and the lover, the hermit, the dictator, the wise woman and the fool." This quote comes from Jack Kornfield, in Offerings, Buddhist Wisdom for Everyday. A book that has occupied a place of honor in the Basse family living room, since given to them by Sandy Melvoin, the wife of Basse's long time partner Mike Melvoin, more than a decade ago. This is a very long title, especially for a disc that has not yet been recorded! It isn't that Basse wants to try to be all things to all people; but his music does encompass a gambit of styles, and speaks of the jazz and blues that come from his Midwestern hotbed of musical roots.
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