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Most jazz aficionados should be familiar with the artistry of bassist Richard Davis who over the years has performed with the best and brightest, spanning multiple genres. Davis is also a preeminent bowed bassist and with Forest Flowers, “32 Jazz” sees good reason to re-release material Davis recorded during the mid to late 70’s, as these works represent sessions that were originally issued on the now defunct “Muse” label. Here, we find Davis performing with bassist Bill Lee, trumpeter Marvin “Hannibal” Peterson, saxophonist James Spaulding and others of note as the band stamps out a mid-tempo swing version of Charles Lloyd’s infamous “Forest Flower”, a sublime rendition of Billy Strayhorn’s “Passion Flower” among others. Davis and saxophonist Joe Henderson go head to head during their persuasive duet titled, “On The Trail” which represents sessions culled from a 1977 date titled, “Way Out West”. The bassist also initiates a softy stated arco-bass intro to an upbeat spin on “Dear Old Stockholm”, featuring pianist Chick Corea, drummer Frankie Dunlop and bassist Bill Lee. Hence, a pleasant enough retrospective especially If you’re an aspiring bassist or long time fan of Richard Davis. Otherwise, the overall presentation tends to wear a bit thin on subsequent spins although there are some bright moments in addition to Davis’ stunning bowed bass soloing and impeccable mode of execution.
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(Tracks 1-5) Richard Davis; Bass: Ted Dunbar; Guitar: Bill Lee; Bass: Consuela Moore; Piano: Marvin
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.