“As the old saying goes, "show me your friends, and I'll show you your future." Guitarist Drew Davidsen has made musical collaborations with Bobby Lyle, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Veasley and the Temptations' Ron Tyson. What do you get when you put all those associations together? A cooking little disc like this one that has the best of what used to be called "adult contemporary jazz" (and has denigrated to "smooth") as well as a nice little dash of old school R&B. Montgomery inspired material like octave loving "Hi5" has an irresistible synth groove, while "Sweet Spot" feels like someone gave George Benson the night. Some reflective material lke"All Night and Forever" and the Earl Klugh-ish acoustic "I'm Into You." He can also rock with the best on the driving "Do Right" and can make his strings moan on "Give Me Your Heart." This is a guy who knows his axe!”
“There is a sense of new life on this Drew Davidsen album. Sure, he looks like a million bucks after shedding a few pounds but there is much more going on here. Davidsen is well known as a guy who gives back with his charity work in Ghana, West Africa and like Peter White, Davidsen balances energy, catchy melodies and amazing guitar playing.
The album opener, 'My Guitar,' was inspired by Pat Metheny, Davidsen says, “This upbeat, driving symphony of guitars with a unique vocal hook takes full advantage of a beautiful 24-fret, solid-body Carvin.” Pardon me if I repeat myself again but this is the type of tune Smooth Jazz needs. Davidsen seems to have figured out that not everyone wants to sleep on the job in this format.
'95 South,' inspired by Wes Montgomery, is another kick-ass, speed-ticket, energy tune that serves as a reminder of the energy this format had before being watered down in R&B groove.
"Drew Davidsen represents a fresh and new approach to the smooth jazz idiom. The elements are all there. His personality gives the music freshness. The addition of the flamenco influence to smooth jazz is something new. I suspect that Drew will be around a long time. What a great record."
“Renowned guitarist Drew Davidsen proved that his nomination as the American Smooth Jazz Award guitarist of the year was certainly no fluke. Another one with massive stage presence (even coming out into the audience to play behind his head, Hendrix-style), he came on in a blaze with “My Club Side” from his well-produced Spin Cycle CD and “Bounce” from Around (Again), bringing the audience to the verge of frenzy more than once. He kept the flame alive, returning to Spin Cycle with the track “Don’t Delay,” before jumping into a scorching tongue-in-cheek 12-bar blues number, based loosely on Hendrix’s classic “Red House.”
Seeing and meeting Davidsen for the first time, I was ... taken by his personable, down-to-earth nature. He mingled, chatted and performed as if we were all family. If you confined your focus to his playing, you would have been mesmerized by his handling of rock-like runs of the Hendrix era, blues runs of any era, ...”
“Drew Davidsen Puts San Diego on the "Spin Cycle"
Leaving San Diego infused and wanting more, international recording artist, Drew Davidsen, demonstrates his ability to hold his place in the top 10 on Billboard Contemporary Smooth Jazz Charts this past Sunday night. Armed with his custom built Carvin Guitar, Drew took the stage at the intimately charmed setting of Humphrey’s Back Stage Live, San Diego, CA.
Accompanying, Darryl Williams on bass, Bill Steinway on keys, and Moyes Lucas on drums (The West Coast family, as Davidsen refers). Davidsen and his West Coast family delivered a two set electric combination of purely creative soul jazz!...
“Spin Cycle”, a savory mix of creatively fused sounds of pop, funk, blues, Latin and even disco, held for over 19 weeks on Billboard charts, peaking at #9 and hit #1 on Sirius XM and #1 on SmoothIndieStar.com....
Drew, keep on doin’ what you do!
... A portion of all proceeds of Drew Davidsen’s CD sales go to support missions in Ghana.”
“No doubt Drew Davidsen finds all aspects of Benson’s career inspiring. But as his new album, “Spin Cycle,” reminds us, the Baltimore-bred guitarist has a real knack for evoking the more tuneful, accessible and, yes, breezy side of Benson’s repertoire. Taking his cue from Benson and the late Wes Montgomery, Davidsen often favors gleaming tones and double stops. As a result, much of “Spin Cycle” sports a familiar but appealingly fluid sound, beginning with album’s title track. Combine that with the colorful assortment of R&B and pop beats that makes the album all the more radio-friendly, and it’s a safe bet Davidsen will continue to delight his smooth-jazz following. That he nimbly switch-hits on acoustic guitar (check out the sparkling ballad “Catalina Blue”) won’t hurt his chances, either.0
As for recalling the more soulful elements of Benson’s style, “Drew’s Blues” finds Davidsen and keyboardist-organist Eric Copeland fronting a quartet that sounds ready”
“If you’re good, if you’re effective, you can sometimes speak delicately and have the effect of thunder. In my humble opinion, this sophomore release by guitarist and native Marylander Drew Davidsen is cut from the fabric of some of the most melodic smooth jazz to date. From the opening note of the first track, Davidsen had to know he had something special here, something truly worth sharing. Full of flavor, memorable hooks, solid rhythms, and an unimposing sweetness in its approach, Around (Again) leaves such a pleasant imagery in your head long after the final chord of the final track.
Davidsen kept his eye on the ball and delivers solidly on all ten tracks here, including the very comely lead track, “Bounce” and the title track (featuring Gerald Veasley on bass, by the way) which immediately follows....The album had its hooks in me with the first four tunes—just like that.”
The Smooth Jazz Ride
“Guitarist Drew Davidsen offers Smooth Jazz a much-needed facelift… with music that is filled with great ideas, killer melodies and exceptional craftsmanship. Fun, fresh, funky… SPIN CYCLE is the artist’s 4th release, recorded with Player A in Franklin TN, produced by Eric Copeland, featuring accomplished keyboardist Jay Rowe (Special Efx). This project is hot on the heels of Drew’s critically-acclaimed holiday release WE THREE STRINGS featuring Chuck Loeb and Paul Jackson, Jr. SPIN CYCLE can be gentle at times with tender tunes like “Alexander’s Dream,” “Catalina Blue,” and “My Father’s World,” but mostly it whirls, twirls and shakes with upbeat, original compositions and stunning guitar work! Fans of Ritenour, Benson and Acoustic Alchemy will dive into the spin with songs like the sophisticated “Cosmopolitan,” the driving “Don’t Delay,” and the fun title track. We expect big chart action and lots of sales on this one… Drew Davidsen is one of the hot”
“A fairly new kid on the smooth jazz block is guitarist Drew Davidsen, who’s won a bunch of awards for best new jazz artist, gospel artist and new guitarist in Guitar Player Magazine’s poll. He opened for George Duke at the 09 Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival as well. This disc includes Gerald Veasley lending his talent on the title track, and Special EFX’s keyboardist Jay Rowe joining in the fray. Davidsen’s got a nice clean tone, and handles these upbeat and up-tempo tunes like a campfire handles kindling. “Bounce” and “Astro” are radio friendly, but everything here is nice cruising music, sort of late period Wes Montgomery. You can tell he’s got the chops, but he keeps the reigns fairly tight, just loosening them at the right time.”
“Drew Davidsen turned out to be one of the absolute best “finds” the JazzTrax Festival has landed in recent memory. ..Davidsen not only put forth an amazing live show, displaying a rabid guitar and pure enthusiasm, but he turned into the perfect lead-on for George Duke. Audience response was that it was a ‘perfect island match-up’ with hopefully much more to follow from drew Davidsen in future years. Drew showed he was not only good enough, but a sure bet for other festivals to follow in putting this young guitarist on stages across America.”
Live Review - JazzTrax
“Drew Davidsen’s chart topping “Astro” single is just one of a collection of tunes included on this exceptional testimony to Davidsen’s masterful composing and skillful command of the guitar. Talented session players, joined by guest artists including legendary bass player Gerald Veasley and dynamic keyboardist Jay Rowe, take you from compelling high energy tunes to laid-back easy grooves and around again, making this an album sure to find a home in your CD player.”