Bad record? No. Predictably? Yes. There may have been a razor thin difference between Spin Cycle and some of the other smoother jazz records floating through cyber space and the bottom line is there seemed to be nothing memorable. Time is a great healer and gives one the ability to progress not only as a person but as an incredibly impressive artist. True Drew is the latest effort from Davidsen due to drop on March 5th ( You can find complete info on my New Release page). Pushing the music if not his technical prowess forward finds Davidsen playing electric, acoustic and nylon-stringed guitars. Fusion lite? Perhaps...The addition of such luminaries as Bobby Lyle, Eric Marienthal, Bob Baldwin and Gerald Veasley allow Davidsen the opportunity to open his sound up while staying true to his artistic sense of self.
Most instrumentalist that take a shot at vocals on their own production crash and burn, there are very few George Benson types floating around the contemporary world that are top flight instrumentalists and vocalists so the opener "My Guitar" with Davidsen handling the vocal hook gave me cause for concern. Unfounded concern as Davidsen adds a nice layer of texture on this lyrically driven tune that is a huge step ahead of what most contemporary players are attempting on similar recordings. "Sweet Spot" is a more funked out jam that includes the great Eric Marienthal on saxophone and the lyrically driven harmonically focused p.o.v continues unabated. "I'm Into You" has the Earl Klugh First Blood Part Two vibe complete with sweet vocals from Ron Tyson. The biggest pet peeve among most contemporary fans are vocals that are simply out of place. A great deal of time and thought had to have gone into True Drew as the ebb and flow that runs through this release is spot on every step of the way.
The number of smooth contemporary records I intend to hit this year will be significantly less. I am looking for the artist that is not content to sound like everyone else in the attempt to earn a quick payday. I want to focus on talent that while technically proficient and artistically gifted as some of the more major label talent you are familiar with can deliver the goods with the same authority. Drew Davidsen's True Drew delivers straight across the board.
Davidsen is a man of faith who devotes his time and a portion of his proceeds to www.gmhope.org. Another passion and one that hits close to home is for people to make healthier choices for 2013 and you can find out more at www.30daywellnesschallenge.com
Tracks: My Guitar; 95 South; HI5; Double or Nothin'; All Night and Forever; Sweet Spot; I'm Into You; Do Right; I Can't Help It; Change The World; All Creatures; Give Me Your Heart.
4 out of 5 Stars. An exceptional effort.