One of the world's most respected and beloved bassists Richard Davis left the grind of New York to teach at the University of Wisconsin in the late 70's. This CD is subtitled "Homage to Diversity," an appropriate description for Davis' music and for his all-embracing approach to life.
As the primary soloist Davis plays arco (bowed) bass on most tunes. In contrast to the generally high-energy feel of his previous records he concentrates mainly on melodic variation. The deep, rich sonority of his instrument becomes a primary message. This CD can also be seen as Davis' personal summary of twentieth century American music with emphasis on soulfulness. Pianist John Hicks accompanies Davis with sensitivity and restraint and contributes concise, apt solos. He is featured on the ballad "Skylark," embellishing it in the spirit of the CD's melodic program. Frank Foster's waltz "Simone" is treated to an extensive workout with Davis and Hicks giving it an extra layer of intensity. Richard Davis, rapper/vocalist, is introduced on C.C. Rider. He will not likely steal the song from Ma Rainey, but for those of us who love Davis we finally get to hear his speaking voice.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.