A well known fixture in the Houston area, David Caceres has release his self titled solo effort.
When it comes to versatility as a jazz musician then David Caceres certainly hits his marks. Caceres can play and or has a solid working knowledge of R&B, country, folk and pop but...these do not necessarily translate well into some jazz presentations with sub genre acting as they barometer. In reviewing the materials received with the release I noticed Caceres also holds down the vocal duties as well as that of alto saxophonist. My personal pet peeve is the instrumental artist that attempts a misguided foray into the vocal realm only to crash and burn faster than "Hope and Change."
Never go into a review with pre-conceived notions or in short you never judge a release by the liner notes. Caceres can sing! "Symptom Unknown" opens this organic soulful gem with a gorgeous baroque chamber orchestra and Caceres then allows this tune to develop naturally. Nothing forced and nothing pretentious this release is a raw realistic presentation of the Caceres musical soul. "You Can Bring Me Flowers" has as a label executive friend of mine often says "more hooks then a fisherman's hat." Caceres is one of a handful of artists that understand the vocals are a separate but equal sonic layer of texture that set up the lyrically exploratory his alto work can then more than cover. Covering a Van Morrison can be certain death for a lesser artist but David Caceres takes on "The Way Young Lovers Do" with relative ease. At this point I am stunned and then I notice a cover of the iconic Thelonious Monk tune "'Round Midnight" and was waiting for what I was sure would be the inevitable sonic train wreck. Never happened.
At this point I was becoming incredibly annoyed. Every possible tripwire was missed and Caceres was making what is normally the musical improbably for most artists look incredibly easy. Caceres has vocals that are somewhat reminiscent of Stevie Wonder and saxophone skills that are so versatile that trying to tag him with a specific label is virtually pointless if not impossible. Caceres release is produced by one of the very best in the business in Matt Pierson which answers virtually every other obvious musical question that can come to mind. The self titled release from David Caceres is the type of release that will drive most critics nuts and have some label executives perched on the ledge outside their office. So where does Caceres and his talent come from? One key ingredient may having been in a Berklee class that included Roy Hargrove, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner and Antonio Hart.
What can I say? 5 Stars for a true entertainer!
Tracks: Symptom Unknown; You Can Bring Me Flowers; The Way Young Lovers Do; Giving Up; Round Midnight; You Make It Easy; Sacred Path; Tell Me A Bed Time Story; Seems So Long; Bird Of Beauty; Gratitude.
Personnel: David Caceres: vocals, alto saxophone; Gil Goldstein: fender rhodes; arranger; Aaron Parks: piano, fender rhodes; Shedrick Mitchell: organ; Larry Campbell: guitar; Larry Grenadier: bass; Bill Stewart: drums; Bashiri Johnson: percussion; Margret Grebowicz: vocal (10).
Orchestra: Lois Martin: viola; Dave Eggar: cello; Keith Underwoods: flute; Kathleen Nester: flute; Charles Pillow: bass clarinet; Roger Rosenberg: baritone saxophone; Tony Kadleck: trumpet; Michael Davis: trombone.