With a career spanning four decades, Ron Davis is finally releasing his first solo piano album, RhythmaRON– a trip back to the basics where it all began.
Toronto’s much-loved and world renowned jazz pianist has created a musical styling that’s simply known as “Ron’s Style.” RhythmaRON is solo piano in the style of the greats: Earl “Fatha” Hines, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. These are the works that shaped his world; the ones that he critically studied until he knew every note, every pause and every part. “Handful of Keys”, “Piano Starts Here”, “Tracks”, “Solo Monk” were on his heavy rotation list and he performs them as only Ron Davis can.
As Ron puts it: “Those records got me started. They lit a fire in me. I began practicing as much as I could, so I could sound like my idols. Solo piano was where I wanted to go, and I got there eventually. First in the basement on my own, then in school and finally at my first gigs, all before I was old enough to vote, and all solo. When I started playing piano I played solo, and after 20 years of duos, trios, quartets and shows with my eight musician Pocket SymphRONica, I’m going back to where I began. “
RhythmaRON is Ron Davis’ eleventh album- 13 tracks with the sounds and styles that informed his musical world from his beginnings as a pianist through to today. Ron loves to share music and to add his creative twist to everything that he performs. This is how he describes the tunes:
- Rhythmaron (Ron Davis) – Based on George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” with a well-known Art Tatum sequence
- Give Me the Simple Life (R. Bloom & H. Ruby) – First heard performed by Oscar Peterson, which becomes a never-to-be-forgotten musical aha moment.
- You Can’t Do That (J. Lennon & P. McCartney) – The Beatles meet Boogie Woogie
- A Child Is Born (Thad Jones & Alec Wilder) – A ballad, exploring beauty in music.
- The Fishin’ Hole (E. Sloane, E. Hagen & H. Spencer) – Playing around with the theme song from the old TV classic “Andy of Mayberry”.
- Moon River (H. Mancini & J. Mercer) – Henry Mancini’s timeless classic, played with a twist influenced by Eric Satie.
- Jitterbug Waltz (T. Waller, M. Manners & C. Grean) – A swing era classic transposed into a minor key, giving it more ‘jitter’ than the original.
- Cullibalue (Ron Davis) – Blues.
- Over the Rainbow (H. Arlen & Y. Harburg) – Surely one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
- Secret Love (S. Fain & P. Webster) – A good old straight-ahead jazz standard.
- Rockin’ in Rhythm (D. Ellington, H. Carney & I. Mills) – A rollicking nod to master pianist, Duke Ellington.
- You Must Believe in Spring (M. Legrand) – A haunting, gorgeous song made famous by Bill Evans.
- Swing Street (Ron Davis) – Returning to his roots, Ron plays some klezmer stride that first kindled his musical curiosity and passion.
RhythmaRON was recorded over three days in February 2017 on a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand with longtime producer/engineer colleague and friend Dennis Patterson. Ron is proud of the results. It took him many years to return to solo playing. It was worth the wait.
Two special album release celebrations will take place June 20th and June 21st- that’s right, two incredible nights at Toronto’s Jazz Bistro. Tickets are available HERE.