"King David certainly honors musical greats in this inspiring collection. But he does something else just as magical. He displays his own truth-seeking voice with great verve, enlivening each selection with a tenderness, a beauty, that takes you back into the sweet smoke of history and song. It is quite an achievement."
Author of "In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr."; Staff Writer, Style Section, The Washington Post
- Within the first fifteen seconds of the first song it dawns on you that you’re listening to a very good song by a very good band; by forty-five seconds, you realize that you are listening to a great band, a great track, and a great singer; and by 1:45 you’re saying to yourself this is a fantastic track! If every song is this exciting, fresh, swinging, and formidable, then this is going to be a monumental record! By the end of the CD your notions are confirmed and you say to yourself “WOW! That was incredible! I’ve just heard something truly outstanding” And you’d be ever so right because this record is on par with some of the greatest swing albums of all time… Ella’s ‘Ella Swings Brightly…’ Sinatra’s ‘Swing Along With Me’, Sarah Vaughn’s ‘The Explosive Side of Sarah Vaughn’, and Sammy Davis, Jr. and Buddy Rich’s ‘Sounds of ’66’.
-The band and the band’s sound is the ultimate working in swing today. Authentic, while continuously breaking new ground. There playing is on the same level as ( dare I say it? ) the great Count Basie Band. KING DAVID and the Talk of the Town! are SWINGINGLY ROMANTIC, ENERGETIC, HIP, FRESH, BIG, BOLD, BRASSY, CLASSY, SOPHISTICATED, and ELEGANT! King calls it “ The Sound of Chicago". It is as mammoth and vibrant as “the City of Broad Shoulders’ itself ! The rhythm section is as powerful as any heard in jazz, rock, metal or funk, yet intellectually more demanding ( than those of the other genres ) because of the complexity and comprehensiveness of the musical arrangements. The horn section is virtuosic, whether playing ensemble or solo, because each of these players is a major star and premier jazz educator in their own right. And all have played with the biggest names in jazz and pop. This band “cooks” on every number, up-tempo, mid-tempo, or ballad. This juggernaut is relentless in their approach, and even in their subtleties their is an implied power which is discernable. If a band can be compared to the engine of a car then The Talk of the Town is ‘hittin’ on all cylinders’. And if you compare them to a precious stone, then each facet shines with a brilliance of precise execution which is flawless.
-The record is jazzy and it ‘rocks’; which is not a contradiction in terms. Some may say that the don’t want there jazz to rock. However the greatest standard albums and standard singers ‘rocked’ (meaning they played and sang with energy and verve ). Ella ‘rocked’, Sinatra ‘rocked’ , Torme. Sammy and Sarah Vaughn ‘rocked’, while still being immersed in the jazz tradition! When you listen to certain records by Sinatra or Bobby Darin they have a swagger and an edge to them that was cool, while concomitantly possessing an element of danger! As if to say “these cat’s are cool but you better not mess with them!” This CD is compelling, for it compels you to listen and marvel, and to listen again! You want to listen to see how good these guys are gonna be and the answer is very good! Maybe great.
-The songs which were selected for the CD are not your usual standard fare (pun intended ), songs which are not done everyday. The are a heady and eclectic mix which are sung and played extraordinarily. King sings them magnificently and powerfully. You can hear the influences and echoes of the greats Sammy, Sinatra, Bennett, Torme, Darin, Rosselli, Greco, even a little Elvis and Jackie Wilson with certain inflections and phrasing. He’s learned his lessons well, has synthesized them, and infused them with his own inimitable style. The songs are sung with passion, honesty and sincerity of performance rarely found in performers today!
-King David has an extremely powerful three octave range which he uses deftly to communicate every nuance of a composition. His singing is jazzy and swinging, the delivery is polished and sophisticated He goes beyond the classification of big band singer and truly traverses the realm of, and truly is a pop singer( remember the genre is called ‘popular standards’ ) His voice is Broadway strong, jazz club swinging, creatively fresh, yet commercially accessible and fun ! Each time you listen you’ll hear new things from the band and from King. The solos are played deftly, seamlessly fitting perfectly within each composition, while simultaneously pushing the compositional story forward through exposition and improvisation; melodically creative, emphatically dramatic! King gets the maximum out of his range, whether with a subtle whisper, the unexpected high note ,or the laying back on just one word to get the maximum meaning out of a phrase. His intonation is perfect. The ensemble playing swings profoundly; original, conversational, witty and buoyant!
-The arranger, Jim Martin, is unquestionably one of the finest young jazz arrangers in the business today. He is talented, gifted and able to articulate and transcribe what many arrangers dream and hear but can never really get down on paper. He too has synthesized great influences into his own style, Quincy Jones, Billy May, Benny Carter, George Rhodes, Morty Stevens, and Marty Paich. Jim has a most individual way of arranging strings. Many times, strings can delineate from a big bands sound, sometimes depleting its energy, however here they serve to heighten the excitement, and intensify each composition.
-If this record is heard it will break through to transcend the genre and be heard on much of commercial radio as a well as stations that fall within the jazz, smooth jazz, standards, and big band radio stations. Some of the songs, especially the ballads will be played on adult-contemporary, soft rock and pop radio and will fit those formats perfectly and successfully. I think that it will be prophetic that part of the title of this CD is Mr. Success. Because I think these guys are going to have a lot of it –success that is. I‘m predicting, right here and now, that KING DAVID and the Talk of the Town! are going to be huge! Because in music and in life, sometimes there are some things that are just too good to not make it!!
-A word from King-----
What I wanted to create was a true pop album in the classic sense. A record of the finest songs done in the most artistic, expansive, lush and luxuriant manner. It was of paramount importance that it be a creative work of value and substance, a record that would withstand the test of time . As are the records of Sinatra, Sammy, Sass (Sarah Vaughn), Ella and Tony Bennett. I wanted ten sides of the highest quality and honesty of performance, where each song would envelope one aurally, truly transporting one, to a place where cares are forgotten( if only momentarily)! I wanted it to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from everything that’s going on right now in commercial music. I AM THE ANTITHESIS of everything that you hear today on the radio. The music had to possess the elements of charm, elegance, romance, grace, wit, sophistication, and love! I feel with Jim’s help we achieved exactly that! I patterned the band after four of the greatest swing bands of the modern era, namely the great Count Basie Band, The Buddy Rich Big Band, The Billy May Orchestra (heard on Sinatra’s “Swing Along With Me “ CD), and The Antonio Morrelli Orchestra (the house band at the Sands Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas NV). I must say that, Chicago musicians are the greatest in the world and that’s why Chicago is my new creative and adoptive home.
-Jim and I put together what I think is one of the finest and swingingest bands in the world, and I cannot say enough about these gentleman! These are the “top cats” in the world. It is an indeed an honor to have each and every one of them as members of the band. I hope you like what you hear and if you do that you tell your friends about the band, that you call your radio station and request they play the songs, and that that you come to see us when we play in your town ( I hope I’m not giving you too much to do! ) If you A. like to swing, B. like to dance, C. like music of quality and sophistication, or D. all of the above, then, ”I’M YOUR MAN AND THE TALK IS THE BAND!”