Exclusive Magazine reviews David Larsen, Deviate From Standards

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by Russell Trunk


Title – Deviate from Standards
Artist – David Larsen
For those not in the know, David Larsen (saxophonist, composer, educator) is the director of instrumental studies at Spokane Falls Community College.He holds a PhD from Washington State University and degrees from Pacific University, University of Oregon & Western Oregon University.

David has been a presenter/performer for the Jazz Education Network, North American Saxophone Alliance and several other conferences and festivals.

David is also an active adjudicator and works with various festivals around the US.

His brand new album, Deviate from Standards (out October 1st, 2021) started as a COVID-19 escape. A way to keep playing music, even as live performances were not possible.

As the world began to open, I was able to play these pieces in public and learn more about how I wanted to present them, David explains.

The compositions are taken from the last four years of my life; earning my doctoral degree and getting more exposure to jazz composers from a variety of eras and genres.

1. A New Thing Comin’ (6:30)
2. Smoke Screen (5:44)
3. Augmented Reality (6:58)
4. Family (5:16)
5. He Who Getz the Last Laugh (6:00)
6. See You at 8 (6:38)
7. Into the Light (5:24)
8. Into the Mild (7:01)
9. Tensai (7:02)

Opening on the lushly orchestrated, gentle swing of A New Thing Comin’ and the gently fervent Smoke Screen, David backs those up with the finger-snapping, cool hipsway of Augmented Reality and then we get the ornate majesty of the beautiful Family.

Up next are the upbeat and cheerful stylings of He Who Getz the Last Laugh and then the brilliantly-paired, gliding, rhythmically sculptured designs of both the piano-led See You at 8 and the trumpet-imbued Into the Light, with the album rounding out on the upbeat and perky flow of Into the Mild, the album closing on the rousing Tensai.

This project has also helped me stretch out and learn more about my own playing< David continues. I want to thank Dr. Greg Yasinitsky for all his help and his great saxophone playing.

I also want to thank clarinetist, Ken Peplowski, for adding his sound to the album. And to the other players: Josh, Kate, Danny, Nick, and Brendan for working so hard to make this sound amazing.

David Larsen – Baritone & Tenor Saxophone
Brendan McMurphy – Trumpet, Flugel Horn, & Drums
Greg Yasinitsky – Tenor & Baritone Saxophone (Tracks – 1, 9)
Ken Peplowski – Clarinet (Track 3)
Kate Skinner – Piano & Keyboards (Tracks – 1, 3, 5, 8, 9)
Danny McCollim – Keyboards (Tracks – 2, 4, 6, 7)
Josh Skinner – Bass (Tracks – 1, 3, 5, 8, 9)
Nick Isherwood – Bass (Tracks – 2, 4, 6, 7)

David has performed with a variety of artists including Ken Peplowski, Francisco Torres, Dave Glenn, Ron Vincent, Bill Mays, Dean Johnson, and the internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist, Halie Loren.

David’s last release, The Mulligan Chronicles (2021), is an homage of Gerry Mulligan and has received international radio play and rave reviews.

Recently, David appeared on the Origin Records release New Normal (2021) by Greg Yasinitsky and was featured on the award-winning Halie Loren album Butterfly Blue (2015).

Larsen’s previous releases include Borrowed Time (2018), One of a Kind (2016), and Night Shift (2016).

David is also an active composer. His published works cover a wide variety of styles and genres. His compositions have won numerous awards including JW Peppers Editor’s Choice for 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

His music has been performed and recorded by a wide variety of groups around the U.S. and abroad. His compositions and arrangements have been played by Washington State University, University of Oregon, and others around the country.

Official Purchase Link

Official Website

David Larsen @ Facebook

David Larsen @ Instagram

David Larsen @ YouTube

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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