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Steve Davis is Frank Alkyer’s Downbeat Editor’s Pick…..

Steve Davis, Gettin’ It Done (Posi-Tone)
If you’re looking for a killer straightahead record, grab a copy of Steve Davis’ Gettin’ It Done. The trombone veteran has a blue-chip pedigree as a sideman with the likes of Art Blakey and Jackie McLean—and a fine string of releases as a leader, too. Davis proudly shows off his hard-bop chops as Gettin’ It Done swings through eight solid tunes in a sextet setting. Billy Williams, Larry Willis and Nat Reeves drive the groove on drums, piano and bass, respectively. The horn section—led by Davis with Josh Bruneau on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Mike DiRubbo on alto sax—digs into some tasty lines and fine soloing. The title track serves as a perfect example. It’s a Davis original, and a burner that would have fit in nicely with Blakey’s Jazz Messengers back in the day. The head of this up-tempo blast delivers some tight horn work over a driving beat, and then it’s a round-robin of crazy good solos by DiRubbo, Bruneau, Davis and Willis, finishing with a blistering outro. On the flip side, the band chills out on another Davis original, “Longview.” Willis is the epitome of touch and taste, whether soloing or comping, and that’s especially true on this tune. Williams adds a fine drum solo here as well. The group showcases its grace throughout the program, whether dancing through Davis’ six original tunes, John Coltrane’s “Village Blues” or Bobby Hebb’s 1966 pop chestnut “Sunny.” It all makes for a foot-tapping, pleasant listen.

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Peter Hum covers Steve Davis “Gettin’ It Done”…

Trombonist Steve Davis’ latest disc, his second on that post-bop flagbearer of a label Posi-Tone, is loaded with keen, well-crafted music for a no-nonsense, at times Blakey-style sextet.

Kicking off the CD is an incisive three-horns arrangement of John Coltrane’s 1961 piece Village Blues. Davis, alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo, the brash-young trumpeter  Josh Bruneau, and veteran pianist Larry Willis step up with clear statements. Bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Billy Williams, another jazz 20-something making a splash on this CD, calibrate the groove nicely. The followup tune, the disc’s title track, is a faster, more urgent minor blues with a fanfare feeling and charging solos.

Davis’ relaxed two-feel tune Steppin’ Easy  lives up to its title. The 1960s pop tuneSunny, the disc’s other cover along with Village Blues, has plenty of nice forward motion. For a study in contrasts, pit Alike, Davis’ suspended-time ballad for himself, with The Beacon, the funky, electric-bass blues that follows.

Longview is a sleek swinger, and Wishes takes the disc out with a waltz that while on the mellow side,  features Willis and Davis playing with plenty of poise.

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Audiophile Audition reviews Steve Davis “Gettin’ It Done”…

Steve Davis – Gettin’ It Done – Posi-Tone Records PR 8099, 57:14 **** 

(Steve Davis – trombone; Josh Bruneau – trumpet/flugelhorn; Mike Dirubbo – also sax; Larry Willis – piano; Nat Reeves – bass; Billy Williams – drums)

Hard bop lives. Well perhaps not the edgy version practiced by Art Blakey and Horace Silver in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but the softer-sided sound as evidenced on trombonist Steve Davis recording entitled Getting’ It Done. 

With his liquid-sounding trombone heading the front line, Davis has put together an eight tune session, of which six are his own compositions. The two cover pieces are John Coltrane’s “Village Blues” and Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny”. On the former, the band dives into the fray to deliver a finger popping performance with everyone taking a solo turn. With the latter tune, Davis sets the pace with the rhythm section digging in led by pianist Larry Willis. Often under-appreciated, Willis has found his own voice as evidenced by his recent solo piano album This Time The Dream’s On Me, which was reviewed here on May 15.

As for his own compositions, the title track “Getting’ It Done” is well-named, as the band shows its cohesiveness on this hard-hitting and swinging number. There is great musicianship on every track with “Steppin’ Easy” a perfect example of a sleek excursion into a great groove. The other members of the front line, altoist Mike Dirubbo and trumpeter/Flugelhornist Josh Bruneau are wonderful complements to Davis’ cool layered tone, all of which results in an effortlessly enjoyable session. While most of the numbers swing along, the band does show some sensitive moments on the ballad “Alike”. This is truly a Davis showcase which features the tender side of his playing, with pianist Larry Willis again confirming that he merits attention.

Although this is not an everyday working band, it does play with imagination and consistency, all of which makes this album a worthwhile listen.

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Jazzwrap on Steve Davis “Gettin’ It Done”…

The interlude between One For All albums seems to be getting wider and wider lately. Steve Davis being one of the founder members of that exciting sextet. But that gaps tends to bring out the best in each members own bands in which they are the leader. Davis returns with his newest release, Gettin’ It Done, a fabulous session which sees the trombonist in killer form.

Gettin’ It Done features a few regulars to Davis’ sessions, including Nat Reeves, Larry Willis and Mike DiRubbo. The title track fuses the best elements of Davis’ arsenal, fierce commitment to each other and solid composition. It’s modern hard bop at its finest. This is a cracker of piece with Willis, DiRubbo, Bruneau and Davis moving a blistering pace.
“Steppin’ Easy” and “Alike” really highlight the horns with DiRubbo and Bruneau having superb exchanges with the leader. But also Davis allows them the space to solo and even more of a personality to numbers that already shine brightly. “Alike” being the loveliest and most personal.

The funky groove of “The Beacon” is something a little different from Davis’ solo work. Reeves adds a catchy bassline that leads through. Meanwhile, Willis and Davis layer that groove with some rhythms that make this an irresistible number.

“Wishes” is a playful mid-tempo piece where Davis really shines and his sound fills the room like one of his mentors, Curtis Fuller. Davis’ again gives the floor to DiRubbo who rattles off some soft but boldly shaped notes. After a short passage from Bruneau the rest of band return a glide the number to conclusion.
This is the first time Steve Davis has worked with all of these members as one unit. And he delivers another quality outing with Gettin’ It Done. This is a solid group that hopefully they can tour together because they sound superb as a unit. And while we wait for the next One For All release, Gettin’ It Done is a great waiting point. Enjoy…
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Jazz Wax on Steve Davis “Gettin It Done”…

One of this year’s finest hard bop albums is trombonist Steve Davis’ Gettin’ It Done (Posi-tone). All of the songs and arrangements are his, and the sound is Blue Note, 61qxXR8It7L._SL500_AA280_circa 1962. Davis is joined by Josh Bruneau on trumpet and flugelhorn, Mike Dirubbo on alto sax, Larry Willis on piano, Nat Reeves on bass and Billy Williams on drums. The pacing and aggression are just right—powerful enough to get the message across but sufficiently spacious to allow the poetry to come through. Sample Village Blues, the title track and Wishes.

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Music and More on Steve Davis “Gettin It Done”…

Steve Davis – Gettin’ It Done (Posi-Tone, 2012)

Trombonist Steve Davis has many credits as both a leader and as a sideman in the modern mainstream jazz scene. On this album he channels the spirit of Art Blakey, Horace Silver and other hard bop masters to create a fine and swinging album. On this album, he is accompanied by Josh Bruneau on trumpet and flugelhorn, Mike DiRubbo on alto saxophone, Larry Willis on piano, Nat Reeves on bass and Billy Williams on drums. They achieve a full, rich sound when playing together and the music offers a wealth of solo space. Opening with “Village Blues” the group sounds lush and deep, playing at a medium tempo. Trombone over cymbal tapping and well paced trumpet make way for round-robin soloing over swinging drums. The title track has a strutting boppish melody featuring fast saxophone over pulsating bass and drums. Muscular hard bop is also the order of the day on “Sunny” with upbeat trombone and swinging drums setting the pace for a driving piano, bass and drums section. I enjoyed the uptempo tracks the most, but the group does add a couple of ballads to the program for flavor. “Alike” slows the tempo to a ballad feel with long tones of music luxuriously caressing the melody and setting up a fluid piano based interlude. Beginning at a slow tempo, “Longview” opens with slow piano and horns building to intuitive swing as the song gradually gathers pace.

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Dan Bilawsky on Steve Davis “Gettin It Done”…

Trombonist Steve Davis has never had a problem getting things done. He instantly joined the slide-wielding elite when he graduated from the Hartt School’s Jackie McLeanInstitute in 1989 and joined up with drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. That gig jump-started his career and he’s never looked back. Stints with McLean and pianist Chick Corea followed, helping to raise his profile within the jazz community, and a steady stream of sideman work, leader offerings and dates with the collective super band known as One For All, along with teaching responsibilities at his alma mater, continue to keep him in constant motion.

While it’s exhausting just trying to keep up with Davis’ work and accomplishments, he doesn’t seem to have trouble taking it all in stride. Davis gets the job done every time he picks up his horn and this date is no exception. For the appropriately titled Gettin’ It Done, he put together a horns-plus-rhythm group that swings like mad and churns out solo after exciting solo.

Davis focuses on his own compositions on this date, but includes a pair of covers that come from vastly different sources. Saxophonist John Coltrane’s infrequently played “Village Blues” kicks things off and gets the solo juices flowing. Drummer Billy Williams has a little bit of Elvin Jones in his swing feel on this one, and pianist Larry Willis has a vague hint of McCoy Tyner in him, but nobody apes the original recording. Bobby Hebb’s covered-to-death “Sunny,” which pops up mid-album, still pleases after all these years and the band sounds like it’s having a blast with it.

The other six tunes put Davis the composer on equal footing with Davis the performer. “Gettin It Done'” is a thrilling burner, while “Steppin’ Easy” is a carefree number that lives up to its name, “Alike” is a pleasant ballad that puts Davis’ warm and focused tone on display, and “The Beacon” is a funky journey that proves to be an album highlight.

In this age of lengthy albums, it’s rare that an artist leaves you wanting more, but Davis does just that. Gettin’ It Done is another sterling date from one of today’s treasured figures of trombone.

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Midwest Record on Steve Davis “Gettin’ It Done”…

STEVE DAVIS/Gettin’ It Done: This bone man puts his old man jazz hat on, serves a little Coltrane and pop, but mostly keeps it original and gets a groovy daddio vibe flowing in full force. Tasty, easy going stuff that can turn into an absolute burner when driving home from work on a summer Friday afternoon, this is the stuff. Nothing much to do here but sit back and enjoy.

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Bruce Lindsay chimes in on Steve Davis “Gettin’ It Done”…

Calling trombonist Steve Davis a veteran is probably inappropriate—after all, he was a mere 44 year-old when he recorded Gettin’ It Done in October, 2011. However, he has such a wealth of experience, such a command of his instrument and such a rich back catalog of recordings that based on his body of work rather than his birthday such a soubriquet is not so out of place. Gettin’ It Done is a worthy addition to the Davis discography: a swinging, beautifully performed and exceptionally well-recorded sextet outing.

The album contains two covers, both classic tunes, given a fresh and vibrant sound by the sextet. John Coltrane‘s “Village Blues” opens the album as the band sets the scene with a passionate and coolly swinging performance that ups the tempo compared to the Coltrane Jazz (Atlantic, 1961) original—which, coincidentally, features bassist Steve Davis. There’s also a take on Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” that showcases both Davis’ warm, rich tone and Josh Bruneau’s bright, brassy sound.

Davis’ own compositions range from the smooth swing of “Steppin’ Easy” to the punchy and up-tempo “Gettin’ It Done.” As might be expected from a player who was mentored by the great Curtis Fuller and who’s collaborated with Jackie McLean and Art Blakey, among many others, Davis writes a mean hard bop number. As the gentle, late-night groove of “Alike” shows, he can also write a romantic ballad, and his performance on the tune also demonstrates the more romantic and considered side of his playing.

Alto saxophonist and fellow Posi-Tone artist Mike DiRubbo is the only sextet member to have joined Davis on his previous album, Images—The Hartford Suite (Posi-Tone, 2010), although pianist Larry Willis and bassist Nat Reeves have a long history of collaborations with Davis. The sextet impresses on every track, a dynamic and intuitive ensemble that offers sympathetic support to the solos and proves itself eminently capable of laying down whatever Davis asks of it—a tight, funky, groove (“The Beacon”), a sultry swing (“Wishes”) or straight-ahead mid-tempo drive (“Longview”) are all delivered with style.

The music on Gettin’ It Done is the creation of a band that does much more than simply getting things done. Davis and his fellow musicians play with flair and an enthusiasm for the music that bursts out of the speakers. This is one of Davis’ most impressive albums—and one of the most enjoyable straight-ahead albums of 2012.

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Brent Black reviews the new Steve Davis CD “Gettin’ It Done”…

 The latest and most appropriately titled release from trombone wizard Steve Davis proves that both Davis and his label Posi-Tone are if nothing but consistent in releasing some of the finest in straight ahead jazz. Variety, texture and some out of sight cover art make Gettin’ It Done a most impressive release with producer Marc Free getting that classic Rudy Van Gelder sound down but with his own unique touch. This sextet swings hard and at times sounds dangerously close to a small orchestra of perhaps double the size. Davis is what I refer to as a stealth musician, widely respected but never getting as much attention as he may deserve – until now!
Kicking things off with more of a mid tempo number the classic John Coltrane “Village Blues” is a nice  adventure is shifting harmonics and the horn section which is rounded out with Josh Bruneau on trumpet and Mike DiRubbo are on point with every note. The syncopated pop of the title track “Getting It Done” is a hard charging blast. The one tune I thought that may be a musical landmine is the cover of “Sunny.” The arrangement of “Sunny” takes the adult contemporary radio standard and flips it to a deceptively subtle swing which is a stroke of genius. One of the best tunes on this spotless release. Toss in a gorgeous ballad such as “Alike” and you have that nice all most forgotten working band sound that allows each member to shine. No bumps in the road here.
Arguably the best recording of Steve Davis to date. The rhythm section is worked out with Billy Williams on drums, Nat Reeves on bass and Larry Willis on piano and these guys sound like they have worked together for twenty years. I have long maintained you need to learn a little about a record label when it comes to making a purchase and Posi-Tone is simply classic swing brought up to date with some of the finest talent on the scene and Steve Davis is a perfect example.
From rock star cover art to inventive covers and great originals this disc swings. Period.
An easy 5 stars.