David Ian – Valentine’s Day (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 36:26 minutes | 374 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Prescott Records
After repeated praises received by his debut album, Vintage Christmas, and follow-up EP, Vintage Christmas Wonderland, pianist and arranger David Ian explores a familiar world of jazz classics with the vintage feel that defines the sound of his recordings.
His third studio album, Valentine’s Day in time for the occasion. Ian’s feel remains intimate with a small jazz combo led by his delicate piano arrangements, which ASSOCIATED PRESS states is “seamlessly melding the some traditional compositions with the perfect hint of lounge-meets-jazz phrasing.” The selections on this album reflect David Ian’s own journey in discovering jazz, with many of the tracks among the first standards he came to love.
The addition of two legendary vocalists are of particular interest in this new David Ian release. Ian’s arrangements of both the instrumental and guest vocal-led tracks carry a sense of dignity, straying not far from the melody. Upright bass, drums, and a vibrant piano head the album with an energetic instrumental take of Autumn Leaves and a brief trading of 4′s to introduce the players. Kevin Max, flagships his first appearance on a David Ian recording with the well-loved My Funny Valentine. His distinct vocal nuances shine with a transparent performance to this already emotional song while the band alternates between ballad and cut time feel. Acacia’s familiar and chilling voice reaches deep inside a troubled soul in the song Solitude. The essence of the song is delivered unresolved. At the end of the collection, there is a moment of respect that stands alone. Gospel vocal legend, Russ Taff, and Ian’s fragile piano expressions create a solemn moment in the bonus track Sweet By and By.
There are some jazz discs that are difficult to listen to. They make a lot of demands on the audience. Not David Ian’s Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is an album that you can listen to and enjoy right from the start. As with much great music, the more you listen, the more you hear. And just think, there’s St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, the fourth of July, and even Arbor Day still waiting.
01. Autumn Leaves
02. My Funny Valentine
03. Stella by Starlight
05. Someday My Prince Will Come
07. Young and Foolish
09. Night and Day
10. There Will Never Be Another You
11. Sweet By and By
Davis Ian, piano, guitar
Jon Estes, upright bass
Josh Hunt, drums
Elizabeth Estes, violin
Mat Nelson, cello
Kevin Max, vocals
Russ Taff, vocals Acacia, vocals
Talitha Walters-Wulfing, vocals
Andre Miguel Mayo, vocals