****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Dayna Stephens: Gratitude

Frequently performing in LA, tenor and bari saxist Dayna Stephens puts together a release that puts his warm horn in it’s best light. He teams up with the best of the best as well: Julian Lage/g, Brad Mehldau/p, Larry Grenadier/b and Eric Harland/dr create a rococo frame for Stephen’s rich and glowing tenor, opening with an easy groove a la Stan Getz on “Emilie” before gently building up steam to coalesce with Mehldau’s dramatic chords. His sax gets misty “ with Lage’s gracious guitar and Grenadier’s support n “In A Garden” while Harland’s coaxing ride cymbal  gently caresses Stephens’ horn on the richly contemplative  “In A Garden.” Mehldau brings out a folksy piano sound with a traditional feel for some breathy tenor mood on “Woodside Waltz” and the team sounds Weather Reportish for Stephens’ switch to EWI on “We  Had a Sister.’ Lage’s guitar adds rich drapery for a fragrant baritone on a clever read of “Isfahan” and the team gets a bit quirky and frisky on the electric groove of the closer on “Clouds & Clouds.” This one’s a keeper, and a keeper of the flame!


Leave a Reply