Having made his mark on classic recordings by Sun Ra and Kenny Dorham, Chicago-bred saxophonist Charles Davis possesses a wealth of varied jazz experiences, from free-form to hard-bop. On Land of Dreams (Small Records), the seasoned veteran joins forces with a hard-swinging New York rhythm section for a playful collection of standards and originals.
Throughout the entire session Davis’ ideas flow naturally and with abundance. The elder statesman leads his sidemen on an unbridled journey of raw, unpretentious, straight-ahead blowing. From the up tempo "JC," to the latin-tinged "How Am I to Know," to the beautiful rendering of Tadd Dameron’s "If You Could See Me Now," the saxophonist displays a lyrical voice with a relaxed, conversational flow.
Pianist Tardo Hammer is a sensitive accompanist who comps with lush voicings in rhythmic, post-bop fashion. His solos contain fiery, single-line bop nuances ("Moon Nocturne," "How Am I to Know" and "Land of Dreams") and edgy Monkisms ("Some Wandering Bushman" and "We See"). Bassist Lee Hudson keeps a low, swinging profile with an unrelenting pulse, while drummer Jimmy Wormworth sizzles with an aggressiveness that brings to mind the late Art Taylor.
Land of Dreams captures the essence of a master improviser with a lifetime of in-the-trenches experience. Davis’ artistry is given honest representation in an uncompromising musical environment.