March-April, 2004

CD REVIEW: Wholenote Magazine

by Ted O'Reilly

If there's any problem with David Braid's new CD it's his modesty. He comes close to being a sideman on his own record! It's not until halfway through the second tune that he takes a solo, but that's okay: he has already made a positive impression as a composer/arranger with Reverence, an unfolding, optimistic opener featuring one of Canada's greatest jazz talents, Mike Murley on tenor.

John MacLeod's flugelhorn caresses track two Seraphim before Braid's piano is heard, and he finally shows more than his accompanying skills. The third selection, Mr.Wallace, brings two more talents up front: bassist Steve Wallace, solid as granite, and trombonist Gene Smith who shines with a jaunty, mocking quality that reminds me of Al Grey.

Braid, still in his 20s is young enough to still look forward to The Golden Years, but it's with this composition that he gets to be out front, and prodded by Terry Clarke's driving drumset, David carves out a solo that's thoroughly modern, yet rooted in the roots of jazz.

In an Ellington way, Braid crafts features for his soloists that are emininently suitable: Murley builds and builds on the quiet motif of The Music Room and John MacLeod is at once edgy and calmly flowing in For JM. The wrap up tune is a long blow on a standard thing, Love, called here What is This? and everybody has an answer.

What this is, I think, is early years of what will be a remarkable career in jazz.

- Ted O'Reilly