Drew Davidsen – True Drew (2013)

Drew Davidsen - True Drew (2013)
Artist: Drew Davidsen
Album: True Drew
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Origin: USA
Released: 2013
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
My Guitar (4:24)
95 South (4:22)
Hi5 (feat. Pat Coil) (3:47)
Double or Nothin’ (feat. Bob Baldwin & Alan Blackman) (4:46)
All Night and Forever (feat. Alan Blackman & Alvin Fisher) (4:06)
Sweet Spot (feat. Eric Marienthal) (4:04)
I’m Into You (feat. Ron Tyson) (4:02)
Do Right (feat. Eric Copeland) (3:57)
I Can’t Help It (feat. Bobby Lyle) (4:21)
Change the World (feat. Bobby Lyle & Gerald Veasley) (4:54)
All Creatures (feat. Jonathan Crone) (4:19)
Give Me Your Heart (feat. Bobby Lyle) (5:44)


When in 2010 I reviewed ‘Around Again’ by guitarist Drew Davidsen I described him as being someone who was destined to be around in smooth jazz for a considerable time to come. His follow-up, ‘Spin Cycle’ garnered similar critical acclaim and now he is back with ‘True Drew’. It’s a CD that artistically moves him closer to players such as Pat Metheny, George Benson, Earl Klugh, Larry Carlton and Robben Ford from whom he has drawn both inspiration and musical direction. Not only that ‘True Drew’ marks out Davidsen as a guitarist with rhythm and melody at his fingertips.

A case in point is the zesty, up-tempo ‘My Guitar’ which Davidsen uses to signal his melodic intent. He also has his foot firmly on the gas for ‘Do Right’ where he gets on a funk filled roll and stays there while elsewhere, and despite Davidsen’s Maryland roots, ‘Hi5’ turns out to be a slice of what might be best described as textbook west coast jazz. In similar vein is the rhythmic and energetic ‘95 South’. Given the title of this tasty tune it should come as no surprise that it is ideally suited to driving with the top down and when keyboard maestro Bob Baldwin joins Davidsen for the easy grooving ‘Double or Nothin’ the result is predictably superb.

Davidsen’s regular followers will already know that on most of his albums he includes an arrangement of a classic hymn. This time around it’s the haunting ‘All Creatures’ but Drew is quickly back on contemporary jazz message with ‘Sweet Spot’ where sax from the always outstanding Eric Marienthal helps keep the smooth vibe firmly intact.

‘All Night And Forever’ finds Drew very much in mellow mood and he maintains a relaxed tempo for ‘I Can’t Help It’ which features a handsome keyboard solo from Bobby Lyle. In fact Lyle sticks around to play piano and organ on a flavorsome reimagining of the Eric Clapton hit song ‘Change The World’ (which also includes Gerald Veasley on bass) and Lyle makes a third appearance, this time with his own composition, ‘Give Me Your Heart’, that revolves around a sumptuous duet between piano and guitar. The original 1992 version featured Norman Brown but here the interplay between Davidsen and Lyle makes it one of the highlights of the entire collection. However, right up there with it is ‘I’m Into You’ which, complete with opulent backing from The Temptations vocalist Ron Tyson, proves to be a mellifluous masterpiece.