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Billie Davies | On Hollywood Boulevard

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Avant Garde: Free Improvisation Moods: Type: Improvisational
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On Hollywood Boulevard

by Billie Davies

“On Hollywood Boulevard” is a glamorous, gorgeous mixture of jazz and funk displaying Billie Davies’s deft skill. Luxurious textures dominate the collection as Billie Davies draws from a wide variety of sources.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
1. On Hollywood Boulevard 1
9:57 album only
2. The Girl in the Window
8:24 album only
3. Jacaranda
9:42 album only
4. Yellow Sunshine
11:08 album only
5. Palm Trees
10:40 album only
6. Hollywood Boulevard
9:12 album only
7. On Hollywood Boulevard 2
13:49 album only


Album Notes
BILLIE DAVIES - A Nu Experience - "On Hollywood Boulevard"

“Billie Davies is a very accomplished free-jazz drummer. Born in Belgium, she now lives in New Orleans, having spent much of her life living peripatetically. Previous reviewers have made much of the self-taught nature of her drumming. I defy any listener to distinguish her playing from someone ‘schooled’ in jazz drumming. There is a vitality and fluidity in the way that she plays the drum kit and this is what I mean by the idea that her stories explain her drumming; she speaks through the drums to the other players on this dates, asking questions of them and replying with the fusion of styles that she has built up over her travels. ​” - Chris Baber, Jazz Views (Jun 30, 2016)

Her 2012 release of “all about Love” solidified her position as a professional jazz musician. This recording of standards and original music, charted #1 in CMJ Jazz College Radio Charts for ‘top jazz add’ in new albums and went on to stay in the top 20 for 4 weeks. Also well received in Canada, the album ended up in the Top 10 on three different !Earshot Jazz charts.
In October, 2013 Billie released “12 VOLT” which garnered national and international attention. CJ Bond, JAZZ MUSIC, wrote, “12 VOLT” features exclusively original compositions of Billie Davies, revealing yet another formidable creative talent in Davies' impressive artistic arsenal and adds the crucial tyne of 'composer/arranger' to her sterling artistic fork, augmenting fearless innovation. Jan Hocek of His Voice in Prague wrote:”Without hesitation - HIGH VOLTAGE avant-garde JAZZ - one of the most remarkable trio albums of the year!"
In 2013 Billie Davies received the "Jazz Artist of the Year" Award by the 23rd Annual Los Angeles Music Awards.
In March of 2014 she moved to New Orleans where she has graced stages ever since and where she recorded her album "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" in 2015.
She received more national and international attention due to a player feature, "BILLIE DAVIES '20 Years Stronger', published in Downbeat Magazine May 2016 edition.
The new album, "On Hollywood Boulevard", released 12/10/2016 became a January 2017 Editor's Pick on DownBeat.com.
Many Articles and reviews have been written on her music from Prague to Belgium to London to New York to San Jose.

“Drummer/composer Billie Davies’ latest stop in her musical journey is a fruitful pairing of what she brought into New Orleans with what New Orleans brought to her.” (S Victor Aaron, Something Else!)

BILLIE DAVIES - A Nu Experience
Introducing the “On Hollywood Boulevard” a nu experience line-up

IRIS P, Vocals.
Born in 1985, a New Orleans native, Catherine Poree' aka IRIS P, an acronym which stands for "I reached. I survived. Poree' is my last name," discovered her talent when she received her very first instrument, a violin, at the age of 6. From there she went on to perform in orchestra concerts and a host of plays, but most of all enjoyed singing with her siblings @ Jesus Unity Church in New Orleans organized by her mother, the late Marilyn J. Etienne, also known as LADY GOSPEL, who was an extremely well known singer locally and nationally.
In 2010 IRIS P started her mission to "save the world" by performing her original songs written from her extravagant poetry debuting a plethora of songs from her Underground EP "I Got Issues". Along the ride she has worked with a host of different local producers from the likes of Blaq-n-Mild, Jason Neville, and Scifor aka Calvin da Man, Niyo of Flight-school, Blaze, to Mike Taylor of EGMG / Greenteam. IRIS has recently been performing all over New Orleans including at historical landmarks such Blue Nile, Peaches Records, Dragon's Den, Berthas on Basin St, Perfect Fit, Basin Street Lounge, House of Blues ,Social House, Red Velvet, Le'Roux and Club Caribbean. She shows style like no-other with Jazz Melodies when she played "Billie Holiday" in "Dryades Street Divas Review" in the summer of 2014, held at Ashe's Cultural Center. She won "Nola’s Hottest Female Vocalist In October of 2014" at the Nola Hip Hop Awards, and just last year IRIS P. headlined in the Foundation Room at the New Orleans House of Blues.

Evan Oberla, el. Keys/Synth and Trombone.
Evan was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, playing piano and guitar at an early age. In 5th grade he picked up the trombone for the school band. In high school his musicality led him to participate in multiple jazz ensembles, including the acclaimed Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra. Evan graduated in June 2009 from Ohio State University with a degree in Jazz Studies performance. Evan is a diverse and active musician based in New Orleans, LA. Besides playing all over the city in many different groups, he is the trombonist for Allen Stone, O.A.R., and most recently, Elle King. He also leads his own band from Columbus, called EOP, with one EP out, 'Here', a recording project in New Orleans called The Most Infamous, and a new instrumental group named The Warheadz.
A few of the artists he has been blessed to share the stage with include Wyclef Jean, Eric Krasno, Phillip Phillips, Spoon, Rashawn Ross, Jeff Coffin, Andrew McMahon, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, DJ Logic, Mary Wilson, Kelley James, Columbus Jazz Orchestra, The Beethoven Found Philharmonic Orchestra, Soja, Cris Cab, Mike Dillon, and Walk the Moon, Mike Dillon among others. He has opened for national acts including Dave Matthews Band, Trombone Shorty, and the Dynamites feat. Charles Walker.

Oliver Watkinson, el. Bass.
Born in Brunswick Maine, Oliver began studying music at the age of five. He attended college in Boston at the New England Conservatory, where he had the opportunity to study upright jazz bass and perform with greats such as Lee Konitz, Dave Holland, Jason Moran, Cecil McBee, and many more. In 2014, Oliver moved to New Orleans and began performing with BILLIE DAVIES, Gandhi Castle, Laelume, and various street bands. He has taught and performed all over the United States, as well as Central America and Canada.

Billie Davies on electronic Drums.

- The Tracks -
01. On Hollywood Boulevard 1
02. The Girl In The Window
03. Jacaranda
04. Yellow Sunshine
05. Palm Trees
06. Hollywood Boulevard
07. On Hollywood Boulevard 2

- The Recording -
Recorded Live in New Orleans by Mike Davies on September 26, 2016. Mixing by Mike Davies and Billie Davies. Produced by Mike Davies.
The music was recorded live, with a small intimate audience in attendance, in one take on an evening in September with all musicians in one room that was acoustically treated. A slide show was playing photos of life on Hollywood Boulevard.

- The Reviews -
“Billie Davies and her team of jazztronauts lace together a bitter sweet story of adventure on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams that is as much dripping in nostalgia as it is taking the listener to new auditory places never before visited- all while wrapping you up in it’s very sexy sound & style. The whole album puts me in a unique mood as if the nostalgia I am feeling were my own! LOVE it!”
— Raphaelle O'Neal, NOLAButterfly March 21st, 2017

"Billie Davies - A Nu Experience: On Hollywood Boulevard. It is clear that Hollywood Boulevard is a place of strong contrasts —lots of big money next to an evident seediness, beautiful sunshine and climate next to the ugliness of panhandling, drug abuse and pimps —with the musicians, and other entertainers, trying to do their thing in the middle of it all. There is a strong stream-of-consciousness feeling to the proceedings and a lot of echo/reverb which helps to create a sense of a dark, somewhat dangerous underbelly being present despite (or because of?) the natural beauty surrounding it. In the end, the success of On Hollywood Boulevard rests on whether it accomplishes what it set out to do, which here is recreate through music the vibe of a particular place as experientially remembered by Davies. In that it most definitely succeeds.”
— Budd Kopman, All About Jazz February 19th, 2017

"Despite the best efforts of James M. Cain, Chinatown and BoJack Horseman, L.A. noir still doesn’t get the respect it deserves next to what goes on in Gotham. This is doubly true for jazz, where a combo of experimentalism, perceived lack of gravitas and the general laid-back vibe of West Coast Cool doom it to second-fiddle status, seemingly forever. All these years later, and when folks want to feel how La La Land destroys the dreams of its citizens, they dig out “Hotel California,” not Chet Baker. Shame, really. If anyone could change that perception, it’s pioneering avant-garde drummer Billie Davies, a disciple of fellow “California Hard” stylist Max Roach and someone who, true to her gypsy resume, actually lived on Hollywood Boulevard for a time. Her latest release is typically daring, capturing the perfectly frightening freedom of being lost in El Lay ...”
— Robert Fontenot, OffBeat Magazine February 8th, 2017

“BILLIE DAVIES - A NU EXPERIENCE -On Hollywood Boulevard. On the one hand this set represents a very new direction for Billie Davies, working in Nu Jazz, which bridges jazz and contemporary R&B and hip hop. Her choice of an electronic drum kit also lends some really interesting textures to the sounds she produces. On the other hand, the drumming is as solid, nuanced and captivating as ever. Throughout the set, Davies leads the music, pushing the pulse and emphasising the words in ways that encourages keys and bass to find the gaps and cleverly work around and within them. I particularly liked the evocative playing of Oberla on trombone on several of the tracks. The group is a winning combination and one that promises an exciting change of direction for Davies.”
— Chris Baber, Jazz Views February 3rd, 2017

“JAZZ'HALO. Billie Davies - On Hollywood Boulevard. The album is directly inspired by the famous Los Angeles Boulevard, where Billie Davies lived for several years. The project was born in 2012 and took its definitive form in New Orleans in 2016. The seven tracks of the album combine, on a very defined groove, original compositions of the leader and spaces for improvisation. A beautiful example of the vitality of the New Orleans scene.”
— Claude Loxhay, Jazz'Halo January 6th, 2017

"DownBeat Magazine. January 2017 Editor's Pick. Billie Davies, "On Hollywood Boulevard". As a bandleader, Davies delivers an ambitious program that incorporates r&b-flavored vocals, propulsive bass lines, drum patterns with a swing feel, occasionally blues-tinged keyboard work, growling trombone, epic prog-rock synthesizer washes and brief bouts of hip-hop turntableism, all tied together with an improviser's approach. Indeed much of the album feels like improvised adventure, but that doesn't prevent Iris P from injecting some memorable, repeated vocal hooks as on "The Girl In The Window" when she sings about an "unreachable dream".”
— Bobby Reed, DOWNBEAT January 3rd, 2017

“On he new CD "On Hollywood Boulevard", two compositions out of seven were formed specifically into collective improvisation. They open and close the album, and are one of the most successful examples of that proclaimed new direction of New Orleans jazz... It starts rather underground, almost garage, but then the sound cleans up and even begins to discern some sort of Asian connotations, thanks to the coloring el. piano and synthesizer. But once the rhythm gains dominance, especially the very sparse and explosive el. drums, we begin to gasp.”
— Jan Hocek, his VOICE January 3rd, 2017

““On Hollywood Boulevard” is a glamorous, gorgeous mixture of jazz and funk displaying Billie Davies’s deft skill. Luxurious textures dominate the collection as Billie Davies draws from a wide variety of sources. Everything simply glistens as the attention to tone and texture are of the utmost importance. Bass works wonders alongside the rather loose, careful rhythms that adorn the album. Mood serves an important function as Billie Davies explore vast terrains, oftentimes delving into surreal, otherworldly soundscapes. Billie Davies offers a cool confident update on jazz with the playful nature of “On Hollywood Boulevard”.”
— Beach Sloth, Skope Magazine December 19th, 2016

“Clearly Billie Davies and A Nu Experience are a class act, one full of bold inventive and inspired interplay. Let us hope it won't be their only project together, and that there will be more adventurous music to come. Drummer Billie Davies began her career in Europe, performing extensively across the continent, before immigrating to America, until eventually she made her way to New Orleans in 2014, teaming up with IRIS P (vocals), Evan Oberla (electric piano, trombone) and Oliver Watkinson (electric bass) to form A Nu Experience in 2016. On Hollywood Boulevard is the Belgian born and award winning musician/composer's sixth album, and consists of seven compositions that are both fresh and engaging. Recorded live in front of a small intimate audience in attendance, each performance was captured in one take at Cobra Basement Studios in her home town of New Orleans.”
— Sacha O'Grady, All About Jazz December 6th, 2016



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