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Dave Anderson: Press

Recent reviews of "Conversations" --

Dave Anderson & Mike Wingo - CONVERSATIONS:  You will hear (in only the first few bars) why pianist Dave titled his CD thusly - this is really a keyboard and percussion dialogue with percussionist Mike Wingo... it's one of the most enjoyable jazz discourses I've heard in a long time!  There are many artists on many albums who have used this kind of theme before, and what they have to say is often boring and very much clichéd... none of that on this one, I'll tell you... just listen to one of the prettiest versions I've ever heard of "Gentle Rain", and you'll hear what I mean - crystal-clear keys and cymbal work as crisp as though you were right there only 3 feet from them as they talk through the tune.  What that means from a listening standpoint is that you must listen to this CD with your headphones on, and ensure that you won't be interrupted... heck, if we could get a couple of politicians to sit down and have this kind of honest communication, our troubles would soon melt away.  Dave's original composition "Song Of You" is far more than "just another piano track"... I fell in love with his message on this immediately.  The tune that had the most sensitive aura about it (for me, anyway) was another Anderson original, the six minute "Light Of Darkness"... it's my absolute favorite on the CD.  I'm impressed enough to give this one my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, as well as an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.97... I believe you'll agree, especially if you love music that talks to you!  Get more information at www.daveandersonmusic.com

Piano duos are fairly commonplace, but a duo of piano and percussion is hardly an every day occurrence. What allows this fine new release from Washington D.C.-area pianist Dave Anderson and drummer Mike Wingo from becoming a mere novelty album is the fact that both players are not only excellent musicians, but that they listen to each other and play off one another so well. The duo starts off with a delectable version of "It Might as Well be Spring," with Anderson providing an engaging interpretation and Wingo responding with bongos and a plethora of percussive accompaniment. This interesting presentation continues across well known songs like "Gentle Rain," a gorgeous "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," "Lucky Southern," "Autumn Leaves" (where Wingo's percussion simulates the sounds of rustling leaves) and "In a Sentimental Mood," as well as several lesser-known gems like Jobim's "If You Never Come to Me," Richard Rogers' "Spring is Here" and Chick Corea's "La Fiesta." Anderson also includes three originals: the joyous "Song Is You," haunting "Sunrise" and "Light of Darkness." Anderson's playing has a bit of a "Keith Jarrett-meets-Vince Guaraldi" feel - with elements of Bill Evans and classical music thrown in. Wingo, meanwhile, has a knack for adding the right sounds and rhythms at the right place - and it is obvious these two musicians have performed together and have a feel for each others' tendencies. The lack of any other musicians not only does not infringe upon the enjoyment here, but rather frees both players to provide more than they are probably generally asked to contribute, and with more clarity, and this makes for a satisfying experiment in sound based on musical conversations between two sensitive musicians.

Review: Dave Anderson's new album Conversations is a collection of jazz standards and some originals arrange for a duo of piano and percussion. I only remember another album recorded with this format, Michel Camilo and Giovanni Hidalgo Hands of Rhythm. This duo setting gives the pianist more space and freedom to play.

The percussion played by Mike Wingo on the first track, It Might As Well Be Spring, sounds like a tap dancer, dancing to Dave's piano playing and Dave's style reminds me at times of the great pianist Bob James.

Dave's cascades of melodies feels like raindrops on Gentle Rain, one of the most beautiful songs by Bossa Nova pioneer, Luiz Bonfa. Dave gets you in a romantic mood with the lovely version of I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face, and his nice harmonic and melodic arrangement puts a more upbeat, positive twist to Autumn Leaves.

La Fiesta is one of those Chick Corea compositions with a clear Spain influence. This is a piece that sounds great on this piano/percussion duo format. Well played by Mike and Dave capturing that flamenco feeling.

In A Sentimental Mood is maybe my favorite Ellington composition and Dave's beautifully played version is one of the best I’ve heard.

This album also includes some of Dave's originals like Song Of You, with nice tempo and intensity changes, the beautiful ballad Sunrise, and the classical feel of Light of Darkness and Spring is here.

Conversations ends up with a wonderful version of Tom Jobim If you never come to me (Inutil Paisagem).

Can a good jazz album be had from it being nothing more than a piano and drums duet? It is when it is performed by Dave Anderson & Mike Wingo, who communicate with each other in the appropriately titled Conversations (self-released).

Looking at the track listing, it might seem like the same old songs and two musicians going through the motions with minimalistic instrumentation, but get that out of your head. These are two musicians who know of the limitations of being a duet, but also know the potential of what can happen between the two. Songs like “In A Sentimental Mood”, “Spring Is Here”, “It Might As Well Be Spring”, and “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face” will definitely blow anyone away, especially if you are fans of these songs or are an elitist of sorts who thinks “ha ha, these songs are just reheating the chestnuts”. No, it’s a mere dusting off of the gems and showing how well they can be interepreted, which is what most of the top jazz musicians do anyway.

Considering Conversations dialogue in a different dialect, or just a unique one.

John Book - Book's Music (Jul 13, 2010)

Nice, light, melodic piano instrumentals presented simply without unnecessary ingredients muddying the mix. On Conversations Dave Anderson and percussionist Mike Wingo present their renditions of jazz standards that they rearranged as a duo. The pair are a perfect match for this style of music. Wingo's precise and appropriately restrained percussion provides a solid foundation for Anderson's free-flowing jazzy style of playing. We like the nice sparse open sound of these recordings. It's always refreshing to hear musicians who concentrate on their playing rather than trying to find ways that technology can cover up their shortcomings (!). Cool breezy instrumentals include "It Might As Well Be Spring," "Lucky Southern," "Sunrise," and "If You Never Come To Me." Nice stuff played with integrity and style...

Don Seven - LMNOP Magazine (Jul 20, 2010)

"Dave Anderson is a jazz pianist of rare sensitivity."

Edgar Kushotka - Philadelphia Inquirer