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Ron Davis - Pocket Symphronica / Toronto Music Report review

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At first blush, the word ‘Symphronica' might draw attention to the wrong aspect of this music and that is gratuitous publicity for its creator. But when you listen to the record – my first experience of Ron Davis' music – you get its significance no matter how quaint the title sounds. Ron Davis music cannot stay in one kind of idiom and you hear this throughout the disc. It floats somewhat easily from swing and rock, classical to a kind of jazzy idiom. The artificial barriers – and we are all sometimes guilty of creating them to define music – blur and then disappear as Davis' music unfolds.

There is one danger in what Davis does and that is to move his music so close to a kind of kitschy pop that it can easily degenerate into something akin to a Tarantino-like pulp fiction. But Davis is much too clever and mindful of that to be sucked into elevator pop. He knows his music and its metaphors and idioms extremely well. As a composer, Davis spices things up with a judicious mix of ingredients to make a fine dish of things. It was Duke Ellington – and not me – who used cooking as a metaphor for music. Here I am following that line of reasoning to the T and when this is done we find that not only do the ingredients make a great multi-course meal but the chef and his assistants (the musicians) are top tier.  READ THE FULL Toronto Music Report