Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Richard Davis - Now's the Time (1972)
Let's move into more adventurous musical territory: Chicago-born Davis (1930 - ) spent 23 years in New York City establishing himself as one of the world's premier bass players. Downbeat International Critics Poll named him Best Bassist from 1967-74. He has recorded a dozen albums as a leader and 2000 recordings/jingles as a sideman. Some of his performance/recording credits include Sarah Vaughan, Eric Dolphy, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Band, Dexter Gordon, Ahmad Jamal and a host of other notables. Davis is equally at home in the world of classical music, having played under the batons of George Szell, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Boulez, Gunther Schuller, and Leonard Bernstein. His great versatility as a bassist keeps him in constant demand for worldwide concert appearances.
Now's the Time originally consisted of two side-long avant-garde jams on bebop standards in its LP form("Now's the Time" and "Epistrophy" which both clock in at over 22 minutes apiece), this live session was expanded upon its CD reissue with the inclusion of a version of Clifford Jordan's "Highest Mountain." Although tenor saxophonist Jordan, pianist Joe Bonner, drummer Freddie Waits and bassist Richard Davis were on the date, trumpeter Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson is the most dominant force, both as a player and in his conception of opening up the music. These very unpredictable renditions reward repeated listenings.