Davy Mooney: Perrier Street

Like John Pizzarelli, with whom he recorded 2009’s Last Train Home, Davy Mooney is a gifted seven-string guitarist who also sings well. Turns out he’s quite a songwriter, too. The New Orleans native showcases all of his talents on his Sunnyside debut and sixth as a leader. A former student of New Orleans guitar great Steve Masakowski and a finalist in 2005’s Thelonious Monk International Jazz Guitar Competition, Mooney reveals his considerable fretboard prowess here, but it’s always in the context of his harmonically sophisticated, literate tunes like the moody “Swingset,” “Crimson” (his syncopated meditation on “Little Red Riding Hood”) and the darkly alluring ballad “Phelia.” The lone instrumental, the boppish “Central Supply,” has the guitarist wailing with impunity alongside an empathetic crew of drummer Brian Blade, bassist Matt Clohesy, tenor saxophonist John Ellis and Blade’s longtime Fellowship bandmate, pianist Jon Cowherd. But the real focus on Perrier Street is Mooney’s fresh approach to songwriting, his appealing voice, and his intricate harmonies with soulful vocalist Johnaye Kendrick.