Dave's True Story,
(BePop, 2005)

Listening to Dave's True Story is a natural thing, like breathing.

The New York trio has a knack for smooth, instantly accessible melodies and snappy ideas: a pleasing blend of jazz and pop influences that's almost impossible not to like. On Nature, their fourth release, their songs are painted a seductively dusky hue -- jaded perhaps but not cynical -- as they explore topics of sad romance and a darkening world.

Vocalist Kelly Flint takes center stage, with crooning vocals that are sexy and sophisticated. Self-assured and smart, she handles bandmate Dave Cantor's wry lyrics with knowing charm. A former playwright, songwriter-guitarist Cantor holds his lyrics to high literary standards and hits the mark with witty lines such as "The bone of contention is hanging from the door/It's one more day in a dog's life." Meanwhile, Jeff Eyrich lays down a strong foundation of upright acoustic bass. On Nature, the trio is augmented by many other fine musicians including Jon Dryden and Bob Malone on keyboards, Rich Zukor and Richard Crooks on drums, and Bernhard Ullrich on tenor saxophone.

Nature got under my skin immediately and felt completely comfortable, seamlessly enhancing both dinner parties and days around the house. The dinner party match seemed particularly appropriate (I put it on the CD changer beside Norah Jones) because Dave's True Story is still stylishly outside the mainstream. A quirky and contemporary band that's instantly likeable ... the perfect choice! Also, because the band seems as influenced by yesterday's jazz and big band as today's pop hits, Dave's True Story has strong cross-generational appeal.

Although Dave Cantor's lyrics are rich with imagery and often poignantly insightful ("I had breakfast with my father/In a downtown luncheonette/And we sat and eyed each other/With suspicion and regret") I found that my attention was drawn instead to the often hypnotically groovy melodies and the general smoothness of the sound. That's the only thing I'd mention that comes close to criticism. Nature sometimes slipped pleasantly into the background for me, and it's worth closer attention.

by Joy McKay
17 September 2005

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