Jazz, Free Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, Improvisational ... ;-) ... Jazz Drummer, BILLIE DAVIES' official blog.
All of her music is improvisational... a conversation between musicians and musical instruments, a joint emotional expression inspired by a certain common feeling, thought or perspective that is being communicated to an audience. She practices the Art of the Jazz Musician, drumming the rhythms of Cool Jazz, Free Jazz, Avant-Jazz, Contemporary Jazz and Avant-Garde music.
"As a bandleader, Davies delivers an ambitious program that incorporates r&b-flavored vocals, propulsive bass lines, drum patterns with a swing feel, occasionally blues-tinged keyboard work, growling trombone, epic prog-rock synthesizer washes and brief bouts of hip-hop turntableism, all tied together with an improviser's approach." Bobby Reed - DownBeat Magazine
"Clearly Billie Davies and A Nu Experience are a class act, one full of bold inventive and inspired interplay. Let us hope "On Hollywood Boulevard" won't be their only project together, and that there will be more adventurous music to come." Sacha O'Grady - All About Jazz
Preview & Get the new album by Billie Davies below:
OffBeat Magazine Billie Davies, “A Nu Experience: On Hollywood Boulevard” (Independent) By Robert Fontenot Published: February 08, 2017 Despite the best efforts of James M. Cain, Chinatown and BoJack Horseman, L.A. noir still doesn’t get the respect it deserves next to what goes on in Gotham. This is doubly true for jazz, where a combo of experimentalism, perceived lack of gravitas and the general laid-back vibe of West Coast Cool doom it to second-fiddle status, seemingly forever. All these years later, and when folks want to feel how La La Land destroys the dreams of its citizens, they dig out “Hotel California,” not Chet Baker. Shame, really. If anyone could change that perception, it’s pioneering avant-garde drummer Billie Davies, a disciple of fellow “California Hard” stylist Max Roach and someone who, true to her gypsy resume, actually lived on Hollywood Boulevard for a time. Her latest release is typically daring, capturing the perfectly frightening freedom of being lost in El Lay, largely thanks to the cool glissandos and lonely brass of keyboardist Evan Oberla and the kind of youthful energy you need for this sort of piece: new vocalist IRIS P, who brings some R&B flair to tracks like “Jacaranda” and “Yellow Sunshine” (which is not the kind of nature you’re thinking of, maybe). Meanwhile, Billie as usual plays counterpoint, creating the menace simmering under the surface naiveté that makes all that ambition seem weighted down, if not doomed, by reality. The set’s only major flaw is her decision to use electronic drums on half the album, augmenting and sometimes replacing her usual setup entirely; they just don’t have the expressiveness of a trap kit, turning Billie’s wise Greek chorus into a drunken party crasher. Ironically, a little more traditionalist grounding is just what the album and its subjects need most. ~Robert Fontenot, OffBeat Magazine
Billie Davies – ‘On Hollywood Boulevard’
by Admin • December 19, 2016
“On Hollywood Boulevard” is a glamorous, gorgeous mixture of jazz and funk displaying Billie Davies’s deft skill. Luxurious textures dominate the collection as Billie Davies draws from a wide variety of sources. Everything simply glistens as the attention to tone and texture are of the utmost importance. Bass works wonders alongside the rather loose, careful rhythms that adorn the album. Mood serves an important function as Billie Davies explore vast terrains, oftentimes delving into surreal, otherworldly soundscapes.
Things start off on an impassioned note with the phenomenal opener “On Hollywood Boulevard 1”. With almost a noir take on jazz, the mysterious shadowy nature of the piece results something deeply compelling. Vocals accompany the laid-back attitude of “The Girl In The Window”. Delivered with a sultry sensibility, the way the song builds itself up is quite wonderful as the song unfurls in a rather celebratory spirit. Careful grooves define the ritualistic work of “Jacaronda”. Some of the detail, such as the tactile percussion, gives the song a quiet intimate feeling. Funk dominates over the spirited performance, as the synthesizer sweeps give the song a chilled hue to it. Electronics and jazz come together on the narrative of “Hollywood Boulevard” where its hip-hop structure adds to the song’s cache. Returning to the album’s beginnings in jazz is the spacious sprawl of “On Hollywood Boulevard 2”.
CD Release party at The Prime Example, New Orleans.
Dec. 8th, 2016 - 8 PM
- "On Hollywood Boulevard" -
- BILLIE DAVIES -
Since recording, releasing and performing "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" as an ode to the work of her dearest friend, Belgian artist Serge Vandercam (1924 - 2005), and performing with Billie & The Bad Boyzzzz and the Billie Davies Trio in 2015- 2016 it slowly became time for her new album project "On Hollywood Boulevard", for which Billie wrote the melodies and lyrics, to become a reality.
After 20 years of playing, producing and releasing instrumental jazz, Billie Davies is turning a page and is bringing us a Nu Vocal and Electric Experience, "On Hollywood Boulevard".
"On Hollywood Boulevard" was born while Billie Davies lived at 6533 Hollywood Blvd. at The Historic Hillview Hollywood in Hollywood, Los Angeles. She lived there for several years and her many experiences in and impressions of Hollywood Boulevard resulted in a recorded album of 5 songs that Billie Davies wrote melodies and lyrics for and 2 improvisations of which one has improvised lyrics by IRIS P.. It took from 2012 in Hollywood, the initial conception, to September of 2016 in New Orleans for the album to become a reality.
Billie and her husband/producer Mike Davies chose Evan Oberla, with whom she has recorded and performed since February of 2015, on keys/synth and trombone and Oliver Watkinson, who became her bass player in the summer of 2015, on electric bass. Billie Davies met IRIS P through an introduction by Evan Oberla, during one of their performances at The Dragon's Den, and was rejoiced to find the perfect vocalist, the perfect chemistry, to record and perform the "On Hollywood Boulevard" lyrics and experience.