David White first came to my attention through his group Minor Poets, but he stuck in my mind because of his arranging and compositional strengths, which were eventually documented on his quintet's first recording date, All Stories Are True (CadenceJazz Records 1057). David's music is rooted in Bop and, while I adamantly believe in the Ellington proverb about there only being two kinds of music (good music and the other), to my distress, since the late 60s, Bop (the music with which I came of age) has become increasingly sterile, predictable, polite, and boring. Fewer and fewer of its practitioners use it as a vehicle for individual (original) expression (passion) but more as a familiar (safe) and orderly (polite) way to play Jazz. David White is one of the few artists whose desire and passion to express himself honestly and with originality has not led him to abandon the genre. He reminds us that it is the artist who makes music, good or otherwise. And, just as Kenny Davern's and Bob Wilber's Soprano Summit brought new life to Traditional Jazz in the 1970s, some 50 years after that genre's golden era, David White brings fresh life to Bop almost 50 years after its golden era. It is, after all, not about the Avant-Garde, Bop, Free Jazz, Dixie, Swing, or Traditional Jazz. It's about music good music. This music may draw from Bop's roots, but it's neither retro nor repro. It could never be used as a soundtrack for a viewing of the 60s, 70s, or 80s. It is music of its time and will, like the best of its genre, sound undated in its future.
David's group has been together since the spring of 1993, with the exception of Shingo who joined in 1995. Their compatibility is remarkable. They have a family-like rapport, exhibiting pleasure in and concern for each other; it's refreshing to observe. It is also a pleasure to see them respond to the challenges of David's arrangements and compositions, and to stretch past the familiar to find original direction and inspiration in a genre in great need of it. However, all of this would fall flat if the resulting music was not rewarding. This is, in essence, a blowing session and that energy and the improvised creativity certainly rewards my listening.
Robert D. Rusch