David Versace’s Lounge Jazz “Summer Party”

The Australian fusionist's epic establishes itself as the delirious summer samba worth sweating over, Will Schube writes.
By    July 13, 2022

Artwork by David Versace

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Will Schube knows the key to adulthood: putting your frozen food in the oven instead of the microwave.

David Versace’s “Summer Party” grooves with the feels of a daytime high: boisterous, joyful, and cocky in all the right ways. The Australian jazz fusion multi-instrumentalist bears no relation to the luxury fashion house, but it’s not an illogical leap to imagine him on-stage with a signature Versace all-over print, entertaining a crowd of cool customers sipping on ice cold martinis and whispering nothings to each other beneath the delectable grooves. Perhaps this image can be credited to the song’s beginning, which features a polite acknowledgement from a crowd before the band digs in, but Versace’s music is visual in its own right.

“Summer Party” plays with an unrelenting samba groove—highlighted by hand percussion, skittering snare drums and the occasional flare of hi hats, before Curtis Scibilia’s trumpet solo buzzes around the rhythm section like a honey bee circling a sweet-scented flower. The track is firmly in the lineage of our post-Kamasi jazz landscape, where subgenres mingle with each other in a new concoction of jazz-fusion that is equal parts danceable and heady.

Versace handles smooth keyboard vamps before unleashing a spiritually uplifting solo full of 88-key runs and clever coloring that offers plenty of room for his band to jam alongside his ride. “Summer Party” is set to be featured on Okra, which drops via La Sape Records in September. La Sape is quickly becoming the Aussie answer to the West Coast Get Down and International Anthem domination in the States, and Versace’s lounge jazz epic establishes itself as the delirious summer samba worth sweating over.

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