Back in November, we hipped you to the California quintet DD Horns led by trumpeter Danny T. Levin & tenor saxophonist David Moyer. The group is releasing their debut self-titled album at their Bandcamp where you can pay any price this week. The album produced by Chris Schlarb and recorded in one shot with no overdubs is a tight affair with a good deal of groove.
Levin and Moyer are part of Schlarb’s Psychic Temple, so hearing such familiarity in this sound, of an easygoing, infectious groove isn’t unexpected. Hearing this project alongside the rest of this group — Blake Straus on guitar, JP Maramba on bass, and Michael Villiers on drums — feels like a natural extension of the musical cult. They’re a snappy group with sharp compositions that feature the best parts of the genre; they have bluesy roots, the songs are straightforward. They’re a group that plays in sync together well.
Then there are the loops that are thrown. Not many jazz bands out there are covering Vampire Weekend’s “Obvious Bicycle” or Peter Gabriel’s “Book of Love”. It could be said these guys are pleasant but that may be the pop sensibilities that lead to those ideas. It’s not hard to listen to this music, which makes them all the more inviting. This comes through in their covers or in their original compositions and makes DD Horns’ debut album something definitely worth copping.
The self-titled debut album from the quintet DD Horns is out now and available for free for a limited time.
Danny T. Levin – trumpet
David Moyer – tenor saxophone
JP Maramba – bass
Blake Straus – guitar
Michael Villiers – drums
Produced by Chris Schlarb and DD Horns with additional engineering by Devin O’Brien. Mixed by Howard Willing. Mastered by Michael Bozzi. Recorded at All Welcome Studios in Inglewood CA, 1/31/16. Cover photo by Ian Souter. Additional design by Andrea Han Lee.
Nextbop Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dean-Harris hosts the modern jazz radio show, The Line-Up, Fridays at 9pm CST on 91.7 FM KRTU San Antonio and is also a contributing writer to DownBeat Magazine and the San Antonio Current.