Guitarist / singer / songwriter Davy Mooney lights up the music wherever he is — playing obbligati to another vocalist, swinging the rhythm in the Grand Street Stompers, spinning out long lines in the fashion of early Joe Pass. Before I knew anything about him, he had caught my ear. And he is clearly more than simply a superb band guitarist, as his new CD, PERRIER STREET, proves. On this Sunnyside CD, Davy is joined by Gordon Au, trumpet; John Cowherd, piano; Brian Blade, drums; Johnaye Kendrick, vocals; Matt Clohessy, bass; John Ellis, tenor sax and bass clarinet. Here’s a link to find out more and to download the CD.
I missed Davy’s CD release party at the Cornelia Street Cafe, so I proposed a potentially radical idea: I could visit him at home, away from the crash of ice cubes and artificially-dramatic laughter, and record him at home. He was more than amenable. Here’s the result: tranquil readings of songs that often have dark messages.
The chiming melody and lines of CRIMSON:
PHELIA (with hints of a barcarolle, Thornhill’s SNOWFALL, and Debussy):
FIRST WORLD DEATH MARCH, a winning combination of jaunty melody and dark lyrics (when “righteous men choose the bloody way”):
The moody ONCE WAS TRUE: “all the voices in the sky are pleading,” a song about God losing faith in human beings:
A nearly hypnotic SWINGSET:
I’d asked Davy to play a “standard,” and he offered a nearly translucent LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE — but wait for the cadenza:
The spinning orchestral velocity of CENTRAL SUPPLY:
ALL OF HER, a “sad song,” secretly based on a familiar nursery rhyme:
Davy told me that his guitar is a semi-hollow seven-string archtop tuned to a low A, created by the Louisianan Jimmy Foster, who died in 2011. What sounds he gets from it!
If any other improvising soloists want to arrange an at-home session, let’s talk!
May your happiness increase.