Caroline Davis Quartet
She was born in Singapore to European parents, schooled in Texas, has a PhD in Music Cognition from Northwestern University and has recorded a radical vocal version of Sam Cooke's "You Send Me." She counts Wayne Shorter, Lee Konitz and Benny Golson – trailblazers and compelling personalities all – among her prime influences. Is Caroline Davis the most interesting young saxophonist in Chicago? If not, she's off to a good start in making a case for herself.
The best test of her individuality, of course, is playing live. Today, she'll apply her streaming, hard-edged, high-density style to both original material and standards. She'll lead a quartet including guitarist Mike Allemana – a further sign of distinction. He's the longtime right hand man of Chicago tenor legend Von Freeman. The band, one of several in which Davis plays, includes bassist Matt Ferguson and drummer Jeremy Cunningham. They just released a new album, one of the songs on which, "Kowtow," must be ironic. Don't count on the strong-willed Davis giving way to anyone.