James Davis's Beveled | Constellation | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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James Davis's Beveled 

When: Fri., Nov. 21, 9:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $10, $5 in advance
With his newish sextet, Beveled, local trumpeter James Davis flexes his muscles as a composer and arranger—on the band’s self-titled debut, released by Ears & Eyes, his melodies blossom from a calm, restrained aesthetic that recalls chamber music. Paired flugelhorns (Davis and Chad McCullough) and bass clarinets (Mike Salter and Anna Najoom) put flesh and skin on the rhythmic skeletons provided by bassist Dan Thatcher and drummer Juan Pastor, and this unusual instrumentation creates a striking, elegant timbre, like dark polished wood and brass. Beveled plays Davis’s tunes with measured resolve and crisp precision, so that solos emerge from the extended ensemble passages like comets streaking the sky. The music might benefit from a wider range of moods and tempos, but its lapidary beauty and serene composure are lovely to behold. —Peter Margasak

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