Subarashii Live captures two capacity-audience concerts, given at the historic Paul Hahn Pianos, in Toronto, in April 2006.
Subarashii is Japanese for great! Ron has toured Japan successfully three times. The title is a nod to the deep connection he feels. The album’s songs are as wide ranging and expansive as the Pacific Ocean he crossed to get there.
Alleluja is a languid waltz, with saxophonist Richard Underhill’s beautiful horn arrangements. Mio Latino features two distinct Latin grooves. Whirlycurl is a high energy tune, based on the jazz classic I Found a New Baby. It leads into the exuberant Applausable Excuse, in which you feel the crowd’s enjoyment.
Always inclusive, Ron takes great care to compose songs that let his band mates shine. Upside Downes features world-class bassist Mike Downes. This is followed by Le Réel de Pointe-au-Pic, an old-time Québecois fiddle tune, Ron performs with the gifted Ukrainian-Canadian clarinet and sax virtuoso, Sasha Boychouk. Pas mal, non? Next, drummer Ted Warren struts his stuff in Roundly Warren Ted. “It’s hard to exaggerate how highly we think of Ted- he’s a brilliant, one-of-a-kind innovator,” Ron boasts.
From Ron’s 2004 album Mungle Music, D'Hora is one of Ron’s most popular tunes. It’s rearranged here for quintet, and everyone goes to town with its energy. Hoagy Carmichael’s The Nearness of You is the platform for a haunting piano / clarinet duo. “Listen closely, and you can hear the clarinet being played right into the piano, making all the strings resonate like a celestial harp,” says Ron.
The album winds down with a crowd favourite Thomoachonga. The band lets loose, to the audible delight of the audience. The night, and the album softly say goodnight with an encore of Allelujah.
The crowd left, wanting more. Radio Canada, Coda Magazine and JazzFM have honoured Ron’s 2 previous albums as Top 10 picks- Subarashii Live promises to top the charts as well!
"Pianist Ron Davis ... brings it all together, working in close harmony with his band to create an impressive musical palette.... lyrical... stunning... compelling listening." AllAboutJazz.com
"[Subarashii Live] provides an emotional salve for what ails you... . Overall rating: awesome!" WholeNote Magazine