Dave Badie - The Court Jazzster


Dave Badie was born in New Orleans, the city of jazz. He has worked with scores of musicians, including the likes of Rita Coolidge, Boz Scaggs, and Aaron Neville. "The Court Jazzster" is Dave's debut project. It has given him the opportunity to work with some very talented musicians in New Orleans. 

Dave comments his album: " My intention was to create a contemporary record with live musicians in the studio, and to have listeners identify with a smooth jazz groove, yet still
feel the underlying straight-ahead textures, particularly in"every waking moment", and in some of the piano solos and chord arrangements throughout the record. As a songwriter/producer, i've often found it very challenging combining the two styles." 

His website comments the CD as followed: "The debut album, "The Court Jazzster" is a complex tapestry, tempered by Badie’s personal experiences. Despite the smoothed-out R&B-influenced grooves, there still exists an underlying texture that should remind the listener Badie continues to pledge allegiance to Jazz in its purest form." 

What do have Bob Mintzer, Ed Calle, Bill Evans, Brandon Fields and Dave Badie in common? They all play Selmer saxophones. Dave favorites are the Selmer alto and soprano saxophones. This work is definetely an album with the sax as leading instrument, there is no way around.

On Secret Admirer Clyde Jenkins develops a perfect drum-programmed groove on which Dave Badie plays his improvisations on soprano sax. A tune as a spring wind, warm and unobtrusive.

Stanley Perkins, is the man responsible for bass, bass synth, keyboards, drum and keyboard programming on Affinity. Dave's sax solo is breaked by Stanley's bass and Matt Barone's electric piano solo. 

On When We Say Goodbye Dave sax playing is more accentuated and captious. The character of the tune is emphatically underlined by Keith Clayton's vibraphone solo. Dave Badie had choosen the mono-color violet for his album. His playing is elegant but somehow suppressed.

Pleasure showcases anew Dave on soprano sax playing the lead theme. Keyboards, guitar and percussion are only supporters for background layers and rhythm elements.

Blue Mellow is the next title and style. I like Stanley Perkins' double hit on bass. Dave's play is smooth as silk. No edges perfectly mellow. 

Afterthoughts is no afterburner. On this midtempo piece Dave shows more intelligent improvisations. Clyde Jenkins adds some keyboards chords and in the middle of the tune his own thoughts. Anew the playing is damped. The right music for a jazz café.

No changes on Every Waking Moment. Dave lays down some chords on keyboards on which he improvises.

The structure of Parables is comparable to the other pieces. Preferably keyboards chords on those improvisations are expanding. 

The Court Jazzster has energetic propulsing drum programmed rhythms on which Dave plays smoothly along.

Dave Badie is without no doubt a gifted and highly talented sax player. I like his improvisations but I miss some hooking themes, which would make this album more memorable.