- Dave Young/Bass
- Reg Schwager/Guitar
- Brian Dickinson/Piano
- Davide Di Renzo/Drums
Dave Young “June Night” notes (O’Reilly) 2023.07.11
“Vintage” is what oddly keeps popping into my mind as I listen to this music. It’s brand new! But then again, like a harvest of great grapes ready to be blended, a first taste shows the quality. All the elements, the terroir is there.
Toronto-based Dave Young has been making music for decades and decades with master musicians in concert halls and studios and clubs all around the world. He brings this experience to all his projects — as leader, player, composer/arranger and often, teacher. In a city renowned for great bass players Dave Young has been a leading master and generous contributor to jazz in every way.
Joining him on this recording are pianist Brian Dickinson (who has performed Oscar Peterson’s music IN FRONT OF O.P., and was invited by Kenny Wheeler to make a duet album), Reg Schwager on guitar, who, since he was a teenager has played with everyone, perhaps most widely with George Shearing; and the junior member on drums, Davide di Renzo, not only comfortable with jazz but blues and pop, at studios and on stages around the world.
There’s fresh fare from Dave Young for this mix: his 3/4 look at the blues as an opener, a spicy Spanish Fandango and the title track, which decidedly is from the 2020s, not the 1920s…
Vintage, real jazz compositions (mostly by pianists but arranged by the bassist) flow: Jordu, Elsa, Ruby My Dear, Eronel — and Brian Dickinson shines on them all.
Milestones, too but wow, does Reg Schwager serve up a wonderful take after Davide di Renzo’s muscular intro! From the world of sort of ‘blues ballads’ is Dave’s easy-going fresh arrangement of Come Rain Or Come Shine. It’s definitely Shine, here, fitting in with all the music.
It strikes me that the bass was the last instrument to really come alive as a solo instrument in jazz, and that it’s really done it during Dave Young’s lifetime. While there were important players like Milt Hinton and Slam Stewart, Wellman Braud and Walter Page it really wasn’t the upfront major participant in jazz until Jimmie Blanton came around, then Oscar Pettiford and Ray Brown, and, and, and yes, here we are: Dave Young.
Let’s listen to him and his friends make some great music once again, and often. This music will age very well.
(Ted O’Reilly is a mostly-retired jazz broadcaster and producer who has admired Dave Young for more than 50 years.)