Pin It

CD Review: They Say Let Them Tell Us 

They Say Let Them Tell Us
(Lil’ Pumpkin Records, 2009)
It doesn’t get any more familial than this: Husband and wife record their work—her words, his music and tech-savvy—in their home in 2007. Her words are befitted with “genre-defying compositions” and surrounded by an improvisational groundswell. They Say’s Let Them Tell Us may have a retro sound and feel, but spoken-word artist/poet Alison Black and bassist Jon Davey, both Otsego residents and educators, are very much conversing with us about today and the “now” that we wonder and worry about more than ever.

Each of the 14 tracks reveals a directive, mood, and function. “Give,” punctuated by a smoky tenor sax solo by Jonathan Lorentz, asks us to “give when the journey beckons” and to “give as the child is born.” As a guitar’s pick plaintively drags across its strings, Black delivers “Distance” with as much lament as she writes about. Black, who contributed lyrics to “Cenote Dreams” on Davey’s SoundBites (2005, Lil’ Pumpkin Records), doesn’t bubble with emotions; it’s her delivery that carries drama and weight. Many of the instruments and effects are performed by Davey, as in “The Train Whistle.” He makes use of recognizable sounds of the ol’ West and a thudding eighth-noted bass line. “The Offer” is a conversation with Death that is both eerie and hypnotic. Steve Gorn accompanies on soprano saxophone.

The longest piece, “A Soldier’s Lament” (7:46), discloses the sorrowful existence of someone. It was written by Sean Davey (Black and Davey’s son) and truly makes Let Them Tell Us a family affair.

click to enlarge cd-they-say.jpg

Speaking of Music, improvisational

  • CD review of They Say Let Them Tell Us - Allison Black and Jon Davey.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • CD Review: "The Poughkeepsie Jazz Project"

    If you want to catch some of the best jazz in the Hudson Valley, head over to the Derby bar and restaurant on Main Street in Poughkeepsie. Since 2013, the duo of pianist John Scanlon and bassist Ben Basile has held court there every Tuesday, jamming with an array of local talent each week and establishing Po-Town as a rising force in local bop.
    • Aug 1, 2015
  • CD Review: Tani Tabbal

    • Sep 1, 2015

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Latest in Music

Related to Music

  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by Cheryl K. Symister-Masterson

  • CD Review: Honey Ear Trio

    Cheryl K. Symister-Masterson reviews Honey Ear Trio's album "Steampunk Serenade."
    • Dec 29, 2011
  • CD Review: Michelle LeBlanc

    Cheryl K. Symister-Masterson reviews Michelle LeBlanc's album "I Remember You"
    • Nov 30, 2011
  • CD Review: David Rothenberg and Lewis Porter

    Cheryl K. Symister-Masterson reviews David Rothenberg and Lewis Porter's new album "Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast."
    • Oct 28, 2011
  • More »

Hudson Valley Tweets