1. Perrier St.
2. First World Death March
3. Miles Between
4. All of Her
6. Central Supple
9. Once was True
10. Last Days
CD Quality - 16 bit / 44.1 khz
The famed New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts is largely responsible for what is modern jazz today. Some of its most distinguished students include the Marsalis family (Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason), Harry Connick, Jr. Terence Blanchard, and Kent and Marlon Jordan. Now the New Orleans-born, New York-based, seven-string guitarist/educator/vocalist Davy Mooney – who burst on the scene as a finalist in the 2005 Thelonious Monk International Guitar Competition, and was a member of Brian Blade’s Fellowship – releases his Sunnyside debut, Perrier Street; a moving and mellow-toned recording that seduces with sophisticated and soulful syncopation.
Mooney is backed by Blade on drums, and Fellowship bandmate Jon Cowherd on piano, bassist Matt Clohesy, tenor saxophonist/bass clarinetist John Ellis, trumpeter Gordon Au and vocalist Johnaye Kendrick on ten tracks composed by the leader. Mooney’s guitar is a soothing – but no less swinging – blend not unlike the stylings of John Pizzarelli and Kenny Burrell, augmented by his hushed vocals on songs that deal with the Crescent City, love and loss.
The title track that opens the CD is an engaging, zesty pulsed dedication to the school that gave so much to jazz. “This song was written to evoke the feeling and atmosphere created by Clyde Kerr, Jr. at the old New Orleans Center for Creative Arts building on Perrier St in uptown New Orleans,” Mooney writes in the CD liner notes. “Now the building has been abandoned and is being slowly reclaimed by nature: windows are broken and parasitic vines scale the faded façade. But everyone who was there and spent time in the second floor classroom with Mr. Kerr remembers. This song is for him, and for all of us.” “Miles Between,” – adapted from Miles Davis’s “My Funny Valentine” – and the neo-boppish “Central Supply” draw on memories of strained friendships and Katrina situations from the Crescent City. “
“Phelia” incorporates Stephen Sondheim into its harmonically challenging melody, contrasted by “All of Her,” a ballad exercise that Benny Golson, Mooney’s teacher at the Thelonious Monk Institute gave him. “Once Was True” is a beautifully foreboding composition that in Mooney’s words is, “a song about loss of faith and the curious possibility that not only may we humans lose faith in our Gods and Angels--they might also lose faith in us.” “Crimson,” is inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and the martial “First World Death March” is a musical meditation on an air show Mooney saw. And the infinite varieties, inventions and dimension of love and the loss of youth are explored in the contrapuntally cool “Last Days.”
In a city known for its brassmen, piano players and drummers, Davy Mooney looks to expand the little known, but equally impressive guitar tradition of the city on the Mississippi. Mooney studied guitar with local legends Hank Mackie and seven-string master Steve Masakowski. He attended the University of North Texas, where he studied guitar with Fred Hamilton and graduated with a degree in Jazz Studies, and he performed there with the Grammy nominated One O’ Clock Lab Band, with many special guests including Michael Brecker and Randy Brecker.
Mooney moved back to New Orleans in 2001, earned an MS in Jazz Studies at The University of New Orleans, and played in the inaugural UNO Louis Armstrong Quintet, a group funded by a grant from the Louis Armstrong Foundation to teach jazz to high school students in the New Orleans Public Schools. In that group, Mooney played with a series of great trumpet players, including Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker, and Jeremy Pelt. That group performed in 2005 at the Northsea Jazz Festival. During that time he also taught at his old Alma Mater the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and played with the Django Reinhart-inspired Hot Club of New Orleans at the 2005 Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland and at Lincoln Center in New York City. That same year, Mooney placed third in the 2005 Thelonious Monk International Guitar Competition, and he later enrolled in the Thelonious Monk Institute. In February, 2009, Mooney traveled to India as part of a State Department tour with Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Duke, Terri Lyne Carrington, Zakir Hussein, and James Genus.
His recordings as a leader include: In This Balance of Time (CD Baby, 2002), Luckless Pedestrian (CD Baby, 2003): Astoriano (LateSet 1997), Last Train Home (with John Pizzarelli, Challenge Records, 2009) and Ghosts of Music, Past (CD Baby, 2010).
Now, with the release of Perrier Street, Davy Mooney reminds us all what it truly means to miss New Orleans.
released March 27, 2012
Davy Mooney - guitar
John Ellis - tenor sax & bass clarinet
Jon Cowherd - piano
Gordon Au - trumpet
Johnaye Kendrick - vocals
Matt Clohesy - bass
Brian Blade - drums