King is a different story, a searching artist that has never tried to be anything or anybody other than who he really is. The latest release I've Been Ringing You due on October 02, 2012 is a release of standards that may finally quiet a few of the doubters while firmly establishing what a uniquely gifted talent drummer/composer King really is.
Now before you start thinking piano lounge and perhaps a standard riff on a Bill Evans or Chick Corea classic, King had something else in mind. As a prolific drummer and co-composer for The Bad Plus the aesthetics of I've Been Ringing You lean to the modern jazz sound while adapting the more straight ahead and avant-garde functionality built off jazz tradition. Rounding out this most dynamic of trios is pianist and long time friend Bill Carrothers and bassist Billy Peterson. While King has the reputation of being somewhat of a musical maverick with a resume that includes experience with contemporary jazz, rock, electronic music and progressive improvisation, the desired effect was to channel some of the moody all most ambient type quality of Bill Evans, Paul Bley all while paying tribute to the Great American Songbook.
The riff on the Paul Motian arrangement of the Cole Porter classic "So In Love' adheres to the more conventional taste while "Autumn Serenade" is a wistful and slightly melancholy blues with an imaginative harmonic texture that is coming from a deep sonic color pallet. The closing tune is a group improvisation on the title track "I've Been Ringing You" which is a most reflective and intimate tune of indescribable beauty. These are but the highlights of a release that showcases the chameleon like ability of King to transform his talents as needed no matter the tune and no matter the genre. Perhaps the most under-rated and over looked drummer on the scene today.
Silencing critics is never an easy task, King renews my appreciation for what the real meaning of a searching artist is. Don't forget it was the music critic that came up with labels such as "experimental" and "avant-garde" simply to camouflage the fact they had no possible clue as to where the artist was coming from. The critic should use Dave King as a starting point for listening to substance and not following style.
Tracks: Goodbye; Lonely Woman; So In Love; Autumn Serenade; If I Should Lose You; People Will Say We're In Love; This Nearly Was Mine; I've Been Ringing You.
Personnel: Dave King: drums; Billy Carrothers: piano; Billy Peterson; bass.