Progressive Big Band / Hard Bop / Fusion • United States
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The John Daversa Progressive Big Band is one of the leading forces of big band music in Los Angeles today. Composed of L.A.’s finest musicians, the band explores new musical territory through Daversa’s catchy, genre-fusing original charts.

This ensemble plays the last Sunday of every month at The Baked Potato in Studio City, CA @ 9:30PM

Last year, the band released its first studio album Junk Wagon (released 7/20/11 on BFM Jazz) to critical acclaim.

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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Junk WagonJunk Wagon
Bfm Jazz 2012
$4.78 (used)
Wobby Dance FlowerWobby Dance Flower
Bfm Jazz 2017
$3.33 (used)
Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music Of The BeatlesKaleidoscope Eyes: Music Of The Beatles
Bfm Jazz 2016
$7.98 (used)
Artful JoyArtful Joy
Bfm Jazz 2012
$4.50 (used)
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JOHN DAVERSA Discography

JOHN DAVERSA albums / top albums

JOHN DAVERSA Junk Wagon-the Big Band Album album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Junk Wagon-the Big Band Album
Progressive Big Band 2011
JOHN DAVERSA Artful Joy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Artful Joy
Fusion 2012
JOHN DAVERSA Wobbly Dance Flower album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Wobbly Dance Flower
Hard Bop 2017
JOHN DAVERSA John Daversa Big Band : American Dreamers (Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom) album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
John Daversa Big Band : American Dreamers (Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom)
Progressive Big Band 2018


JOHN DAVERSA live albums

JOHN DAVERSA Live At Catalina's album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Catalina's
Progressive Big Band 2009
JOHN DAVERSA Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles
Progressive Big Band 2016

JOHN DAVERSA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

JOHN DAVERSA re-issues & compilations

JOHN DAVERSA singles (0)

JOHN DAVERSA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


JOHN DAVERSA John Daversa Big Band : American Dreamers (Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom)

Album · 2018 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Down through history there always seems to be a certain politician who is so void of positive ideas and real solutions that he desperately blames the ‘immigrants’ for his nation’s problems and seeks to increase his popularity with this morally corrupt message. This worked well for Hitler, and despite what a tragedy he turned out to be, it still seems to work for some. The problem being that there is always enough of the population who is either under educated enough, or xenophobic enough to fall for such nonsense. Satirical cartoon show “The Simpsons” presented a biting send up of such posturing when they aired an episode in the mid 90s in which their corrupt mayor chose to wiggle out of a tight spot regarding taxes by ‘blaming the immigrants’. So it comes to pass just a few decades later in a prime example of reality imitating TV, the voters of the US elected a politician who used this same tired and predictable rhetoric to actually win the presidency.

Dreamers are children who were brought to the US, under no power of their own, as non-citizens and who have since been working hard to prove themselves as capable US citizens. Many lawmakers support these Dreamers and have been trying to provide a path for their eventual citizenship. Unfortunately, many of these dreams have been dashed lately by a new administration that rose to power by provoking irrational fears about these Dreamers and are busy trying close their path to citizenship. John Daversa’s “American Dreamers” is a new CD that gives these young people a voice and allows them to tell their stories in their own words and also allows them to participate in Daversa’s power packed big band.

If you have ever worked as a teacher, you will recognize the voices in these stories, these are the voices of your students, and believe me, that makes all of this hit you like a ton of bricks. In my many years as a music teacher in the US, I would estimate over half the students I have worked with have been immigrants. To hear the ambitious and unpretentious young people on this CD describe how their dreams may be crushed is beyond heart-breaking, and really kind of burns me up inside. Hopefully this CD will help people realize what a horrible tragedy is taking place here.

“American Dreamers” is a great listen just to hear the young musician’s stories, but you also get John Daversa’s big band playing wild arrangements that can recall ‘out-there’ band arrangers such as Don Ellis, Anthony Braxton and Sun Ra. Most of the tracks are covers that have been completely re-arranged into fresh new pieces. James Brown’s “Living in America” has crazy horn syncopations that sound like the JBs gone berserk. “Stars and Stripes” is given a fast changing de-constructionist arrangement that may remind some of Anthony Braxton’s humorous marching band send-ups. Led Zep’s “Immigrant Song” is given screaming horns and a fierce rap from a young man from Senegal named Caliph. The music on its own would make “American Dreamers” one of the best modern big band albums of this year, but when you add in the importance of the message being presented here, you have a jazz record that has transcended mere art and become a powerful social statement that will hopefully help people understand what is truly going on here.

JOHN DAVERSA Wobbly Dance Flower

Album · 2017 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
No doubt there is a lot of creative abstract intellectual jazz coming out these days, which is all fine and good, but sometimes you may be asking yourself, ‘where is the heat’? Where is that hot jazz that blasts you in the face with kinetic unstoppable energy. A couple years ago it was Walking Distance with their “Neighborhood” album that supplied some much needed fire. This year its John Daversa and his more fun than a drunk barrel of monkeys, “Wobbly Dance Flower”, that is bound to get you up to get down. What we have on this fine disc is a great blend of high speed neo-bebop, soulful hard bop grooves and anarchistic free blowing that all adds up to one of the hottest jazz CDs of 2017. Mostly known for his modern big band arranging, Daversa also adds plenty of interesting changeups and arrangements to keep these tunes far from anything cliché.

Opening track, “Ms Turkey” will grab your attention with one of this CD’s salient features, and that is the aforementioned high speed neo-bebop that exists somewhere between the worlds of Diz n’ Bird, and early Ornette with Don Cherry, but rendered with a modern sensibility that shows no trace of nostalgia. “Be Free”, as the title would suggest, is a free jazz jam that uses the same up tempo bop as a starting point, but then utilizes modern tempo changes that shift and dissolve without warning. Things cool out for the soulful and melodic “Brooklyn Still”, as well as the B3 groove of “Jazz Heads”. “Meet Me at the Airport” is a another B3 soul jazz number that closes with a climbing fusion riff reminiscent of Larry Young’s work with the Tony Williams Lifetime. After this, the album closes out with more short and sassy high speed romps.

The playing on here is excellent. Daversa has a clean and precise tone on the trumpet that recalls Clifford Brown, infused with the energy of Dizzy Gillespie. He is joined by the well known Bob Mintzer on sax and bass clarinet, as well as Joe Bagg on piano and B3, a keyboard player who deserves more recognition. Zane Carney, Jerry Watts Jr and Gene Coye keep things moving in the rhythm section. Looking for your modern le jazz hot, here it is.

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