Here's a jazz CD with many favorite well known traditional standard tunes on it, as well as a few originals by David Picton. The arrangements Mr. Picton did on the standards are fresh, new, contemporary arrangements of the songs, reflecting some commercial and multicultural influences, yet, at the same time,showing complete respect for these songs as the classic standards that they are.The musicians on the CD are all well-seasoned straight ahead jazz players, who have all known and been playing with each other for years.David Picton plays drums on all the numbers, and on some numbers he overdubs various hand percussion, piano, and vocals. The rest of the musicians include Zane Massey- tenor sax; Bob Curtis-alto sax and clarinet; Yoshiki Miura- guitar; Toru Dodo - piano; Terry Newman-bass; Stuart Grant-bass; and Wei-Sheng Lin-bass
David Picton, primarily a jazz drummer, is also a competent jazz pianist and composer. Originally from Watchung, N.J., he came to New York City in 1976 to earn his bachelor's degree in music composition from Mannes College Of Music. He has been living, performing, writing, and teaching music in and around New York City ever since.Mr. Picton has performed with such well-known musicians as John Hicks, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins,Bob Mover, John Pisano, Bobby Forrester, Warren Chaisson,Mark Elf, and many others.
Mr. Picton has a broad backround of experience and education in music ranging from rock, to jazz, to classical, and he has explored various kinds of folkloric musics from around the world as well.In 1997 he toured in Ghana, Africa, with a jazz trio(The Bleeker Street Trio), which sparked in him an increased interest in African drumming. On this CD, you will hear Mr. Picton playing the African Talking Drum on two of the tracks ("Tune Up", and "Cherokee"), as well as other various hand percussion on those and other tunes. He also plays piano on some of the tunes, and on one tune, his very original jazz waltz rendition of "Blowin In The Wind", by Bob Dylan, he even sings.
In the 1990's, Mr. Picton began focusing his energies primarily on jazz.(mostly "straight ahead") and has been doing that since, though branching out a little more in recent years into "Third Stream" and modern classical composition. The music on this CD, however, leans a little more on the commercial side, but without selling itself out to any commercial trends in any way.For the most part, it remains true to the tradition of straight ahead jazz playing.
The CD was recorded in 2002,shortly after 9-11.The music is, for the most part, light and upbeat. Relaxing, yet lively. There is just a bit of a dark, "heavy", or ominous feeling in Mr Picton's rendition of "Tune Up", by Miles Davis; a tune that is, ironically enough, usually played rather light and upbeat. Check out the wild free-form blowing that goes on between Picton on drums, and Zane Massey on tenor sax.
There are also a couple songs on the CD that ask some rather deep questions, such as Bob Dylan's "Blowin In The Wind", and David Picton's "Pourquoi", which , in French simply means,"Why?" It is a light, happy bassa nova tune, but with a trace of wistful sadness, or longing,to the melody.Thus the title to the CD: "Light Answers To Heavy Questions".
Mr.Picton has always been both inventive and eclectic in his approach to playing and writing music, but on this CD, you will find a certain cohesiveness and consistancy to the overall sound and feeling of it. It follows a kind of arch from beginning to end, leading the listener through a pleasant excursion of creative, inventive writing and arranging, and very fine, entertaining, and creative jazz playing from all the musicians involved.