One of today’s most versatile and in-demand bassists, David Finck has developed into an impressive composer, arranger, and producer. Future Day (Soundbrush Records), his debut CD as a leader, garnered an impressive amount of critical raves. Once again in the studio with his long time colaborators Joe Locke, Gary Versace, Carl Allen, Jim Saporito with guests Ali Ryerson and Alexis Cole, Finck has produced a recording full of delightful surpirses, as his perspective form the low end of the band propels the songs to new levels of beauty and swing.
David Finck – bass, vocals
Joe Locke – Vibes
Gary Versace – piano
Carl Allen – drums
Jim Saporito – drums (tracks 2, 3, and 10)
Ali Ryerson – alto flute (tracks 1 and 3)
Alexis Cole – vocal (tracks 4 and 8)
Recorded July 2016 by Chris Sullit at Trading 8s Studio.
Additional recording August 2016 by Myles Turney at Mission Sound
Mixed by Myles Turney at Mission Sound
Design by Marie Coons
Produced by David Finck
Executive Producer: Roger Davidson
Jersey Jazz Society
Bassist DAVID FINCK is an impressive presence on each track of his latest album, low standards (Soundbrush – 1037). He has imaginatively compiled ten selections that range from standards like “Breezin’ Along with the Breeze” and “They Say It’s Wonderful” to Brazilian tunes such as “Brigas Nunca Mais” and “Pra Dizer Adeus,” with stops along the way to visit some jazz tunes, “Three and One” and “How My Heart Sings,” and a couple of his originals, “Low Standards” and “The Way He Captured Me.” The two originals are terrific. He adds a vocal on “Low Standards,” while Alexis Cole provides the vocalizing on “The Way He Captured Me,” as well as on “A Time for Love.” She is one special vocal talent. The other participants on this recording are Joe Locke on vibes, Gary Versace on piano, and Carl Allen or Jim Saporito on drums, with Ali Ryerson providing some lovely flute sounds on “Three and One” and “Low Standards.” Of special note are Finck’s quirky reimagining of “Breezin Along with the Breeze,” and his bass-centric approaches to Stephen Sondheim’s “Loving You” and his solo take on “They Say It’s Wonderful.” This is an album filled with imagination and unexpected twists and turns. It is delightful!
Whether as a bassist or a producer, David Finck is an artist of exceptional taste, elegance, and heart. His roots are in jazz, but his deep understanding of other styles, notably Brazilian ones, has made him the most versatile man on his instrument. For all his virtuosity, David cares about the song more than anything—the result, perhaps, of having played with so many great singers, from George Michael to Gladys Knight to Rosemary Clooney. His bass sings, and he has made it an instrument of rare expressive powers.
This CD touches on all the chapters of a distinguished career. David’s Brazilian work includes associations with many of that country’s best, such as Ivan Lins, Eliane Elias, and Leny Andrade. On Edu Lobo and Torquato Neto’s “Pra Dizer Adeus” (To Say Goodbye), his rich-toned playing, devoid of frills, tells the story without words. Three of his favorite colleagues—vibraphonist Joe Locke, alto flutist Ali Ryerson, and pianist Gary Versace—join him on Thad Jones’s “Three and One,” which Jones recorded in 1958 with his brothers, Hank and Elvin, and bassist Eddie Jones (not of their family).
Having worked with top Broadway singers, David knows musical theater; here he brings out the pathos of Sondheim’s most emotional late-career song, “Loving You,” from Passion. David’s own “The Way He Captured Me” is a standard-in-waiting. It’s sung here by Alexis Cole, a Manhattan-based singer-pianist he admires greatly. On another original, “Low Standards,” David makes a whimsical singing debut. This could be the theme song of Alfred E. Neuman—“I underachieve and like it that way/With never a thought and nothing to say”—but as sung by a perfectionist like David, it’s truly funny. He’s a complete musician, and in this album he’s given himself the showcase of a lifetime.
—James Gavin, New York, 2016