ROGER DAVIDSON QUARTET, Music from the Heart
The title of Music from the Heart, world music influenced veteran jazz pianist Roger Davidson’s second collection prominently featuring multi-instrumentalist Hendrik Meurkens, prepares us for a sweeping set of romantic tunes that reflect both the joyful ecstacy of blooming romance and the quiet romantic moments that add depth and texture to the relationship.
But even if you weren’t aware that the collection is mostly a musical love letter to Nilcelia Davidson, his wife since 2014, you can sense there’s a love exchange driving the passionate expressions, breezy musical conversations and eloquent soloing. These range from the brisk, rambunctious opener “My Love Is Only You” to the gorgeous grace of “Celia” and the easy flowing lonesome longing of “Saudade.” Beyond the love exchange, the collection offers incredibly rhythmic diversity, as if we’re observing a relationships day to day ups and downs.
Besides showcasing the Paris-born Davidson’s lifelong affinity for Brazilian music, Music from the Heart allows Meurkens, long known as the most important jazz harmonica player since Toots Thielemans) to strut his unique stuff on both his trademark instrument and the vibraphone.