David Whitman | Oh, Clara!

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Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Jazz: Piano Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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Oh, Clara!

by David Whitman

An elegant jazz masterpiece in the spirit of Art Blakey. The band (Francisco Torres, Tom Luer, Andy Neesley, Geoff Keezer, Rob Thorsen, Tomek Miernowski, Chris Montgomery) swings its butt off driven by one of todays most refined drummers, Dave Whitman.
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Struttin' Home
Dave Whitman
6:16 $0.99
2. I Know Why
Dave Whitman
5:08 $0.99
3. Monty's Bag
Dave Whitman
8:08 $0.99
4. Untitled
Dave Whitman
7:32 $0.99
5. Morningside Heights
Dave Whitman
4:02 $0.99
6. Stompin' at the Savoy
Dave Whitman
5:11 $0.99
7. Dear John
Dave Whitman
7:23 $0.99
8. Feelin' Alright
Dave Whitman
7:30 $0.99
9. Saint Nicholas Avenue
Dave Whitman
5:05 $0.99
10. Quiet
Dave Whitman
6:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Oh, Clara!," the debut recording from Dave Whitman, features Francisco Torres, Tom Luer, Geoffrey Keezer, Rob Thorsen, Tomek Miernowski, Chris Montgomery, and the trumpet and compositions of long-time collaborator Andrew Neesley. Four of the musicians on the session have musical roots in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and during the session, Dave's wife was pregnant with their first child, Clara Mia. It seems only fitting that the record be named in both pun-ful jest and joyful dedication, "Oh, Clara!"

"Oh Clara!" features ten tracks that harken back to the days of Blue Note, Riverside, and Verve -- when spontaneity, passion, and magic ruled the studio. Assembling a band of some of the finest jazz musicians on the planet, Whitman ventured into Capitol Studios for two days to record a collection of new charts (and a few new arrangements) that were not overly esoteric or academic; but allowed the musicians to create fresh inspired jazz with both fierce intensity and gentle tenderness. Their mastery of the language of jazz is as evident as the music is soulful and swinging.

And it is just that---swinging. And hard! Given the relative obscurity of Whitman the band that he has here assembled is nothing short of spectacularly perfect for the charts and arrangements of the GRAMMY nominated east-coast composer. In fact, between the band members one can quickly reach well beyond a dozen GRAMMY nominations and wins for various projects; Francisco Torres for his work with Gordon Goodwin's highly acclaimed "Big Phat Band" and Poncho Sanchez, Geoffrey Keezer for his own projects and his work with folks such as Christian McBride, Chris Botti, and many many others (of course, he was one of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers), Andrew Neesley for his work with Bobby Sanabria's NYC big band, and Whitman, Neesley, and Luer for their work on (surprisingly) two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire records - Harpoon (1997) and Things to Come (2001).

The band has a lot more to offer than just a tally of GRAMMY nominations and wins. Bassist Rob Thorsen is one of the hardest working jazz bassists in Southern California, and he locks in brilliantly with Whitman's soulful drive and graceful flare. Tomek Miernowski, playing guitar on all but one of the tracks, brings a maturity and substance to the record that is both understated and delectable. A compelling case may be made that the most accomplished musical resume belongs to Chris Montgomery, who plays guitar lustrously and seductively on "Untitled." Montgomery has been a senior executive in the music business for decades, and happens to be a brilliant producer and guitarist in his own right.

And throughout it all Whitman leads from the drums like great bands of yore, cementing the ensemble and providing a solid ground that puts the music first. He clearly demonstrates a giftedness in supporting his bandmates, and shows he has deep roots when he steps into the spotlight (his solos are fantastic, and he knocks it out of the park on Saint Nicholas Avenue). The caliber, energy, spontaneity, and historically minded performances are inspiring all around. Sit back, relax, listen, and ENJOY!

"You've found a common ground between strong craftsmanship without being institutional, and showing the schooled chops while also being fun. You nailed it with this being Blakey-esque, and from my many years at Blue Note, I have listened to every bit of Blakey there is!" --- Jeff Zakim (Marketing for Blue Note Label Group, 2001-2008)

"Perfect! I love this record. Very clever horn lines, and of course Keezer's piano playing is stellar!" --- Carol Welsman (Juno Award winning Jazz Artist)

"David's unique approach to the drums and cymbals reflects a true artist at work. Every note swings with a definite sense of urgency and sensitivity. “Oh, Clara!” is "THE" record for anyone interested in amazing music!" --- Darrian Douglas (Jazz Musician, Drummer)

David Whitman’s impressive debut album as a leader demonstrates his mastery of delivering just the right touch with brushes (“St. Nicholas Ave.” & “Feelin’ Alright”) and his steady groove with sticks—especially his Buhaina-flavored shuffle on “Monty’s Bag” and deep-pocket swinging on “Struttin.’” --- Wayne Goins (Distinguished Jazz Professor, Author)



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