Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Two Originals: Happy Girl & Hip Walk
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Solid and soulful
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 11/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I can't agree with the previous reviewer's assessmen that it's hard to find Nathan Davis albums because "the man don't want you to hear them, " I share his frustration. Listen to these two rereleased '60s albums and you'll also be hard-pressed to understand why this versatile, swinging and highly inventive player has seen his work relegated time and again to obscurity.
First of all, full disclosure: I lived in Pittsburgh and attended the university while Dr. Davis served on the faculty at Pitt. Not only did I hear him play numerous times, I also met him on a number of occasions. He was -- and of course still is -- an historian of the music, and you can hear it in his playing.
I think he's one of the best jazz players to pick up a flute, and you'll hear that in the opening tune, "Flute in the Blues." His tone is crystalline, his breath control flawless and his sense of swing impeccable.
Pick any tune on which he picks up the tenor, his main horn, and you'll hear his powerful approach, which has elements of many of the great players, but is also completely his own. One point of distinction is that he has a serious sense of funk in his tone, which he often mixes in with a generous dollop of blues. He was completely tuned in to the best, most advanced players of the day, from Trane to Sonny to Dolphy, but he also has a healthy respect for the big tone of Coleman Hawkins. For delicacy, listen to his work on the lovely standard, "Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most." It's one of my favorite tunes, and his version is one of the best I've heard.
He gets a big boost from a now nearly forgotten trumpet player, Carmell Jones, who meshes very nicely on the second album.
It takes a serious and dedicated collector to find Nathan's stuff, some of which was recorded on small labels in Pittsburgh. (For instance, he has a moving tribute album to Dr. Martin Luther King that is a must purchase if you can find it). For his work with Eric Dolphy, with whom he played in Europe, a recommended choice is "The Unrealized Tapes," where the two of them are joined by Donald Byrd.
"Happy Girl" and "Hip Walk," though, make a fine beginning to a musical education with this excellent player."
Tyler Smith | 01/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nathan Davis is one of the most under-rated tenor players playing anywhere. This cd, a compilation of Nathan's first and third album, illistrates his mastery of his horn. Nathan also has with him a stellar rythmn section (including bebop father Kenny Clarke on drums) and excellent sidemen."