The Ray Davies Songbook – Ben Crosland

Fri 15 July 2022

Ben Crosland Bass

Theo Travis Saxes

John Etheridge Guitar

Steve Lodder Piano/keyboards

Nic France Drums

Ray Davies’ songs are rooted in the blues, music hall, popular song, variety and musical theatre – the perfect vehicles for jazz interpretation. Ben Crosland began his musical education at the age of 13 by taking up the drums, and the Kinks’ singles were constantly on the Dansette as he played along in his bedroom. Fifty years on, as bandleader and composer/arranger, he is again discovering new subtleties and strengths in these wonderful compositions and has assembled a quintet of international quality to perform these imaginative arrangements.

Ray Davies’ tunes – evocative, catchy and deceptively simple. By recasting them in the jazz idiom and delicately elaborating their harmonies, bassist and composer Ben Crosland brings them out in a fresh glow. It’s remarkable how comfortable these melodies sound in their new settings’. – The Observer

Given the number of hit songs Ray Davies has written over his years fronting The Kinks, it’s astonishing that nothing like this CD has ever seen the light of a laser… So you wait fifty years for one song and then twelve expertly arranged jazz covers of The Kinks’ music arrive at once…

What distinguishes this set are the sensitive and sophisticated arrangements….This is a very welcome release of deft and intelligent interpretations, celebrating the idiosyncratic songs of Ray Davies, a man without whom twentieth century popular music would certainly have been the poorer’. – All About Jazz

 

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