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Scorpio Rising
Walter Davis
Scorpio Rising
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Walter Davis
Title: Scorpio Rising
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Steeplechase
Release Date: 8/1/1994
Album Type: Import
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop
Style: Piano Blues
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 716043125524, 723721869724

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CD Reviews

Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 06/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It was "Scorpio Rising" along with "Uranus," "Gipsy Folk Tales," and "Backgammon" (the latter three numbers staples of the Art Blakey book in the 1970's) that led me to look up this final piano trio recording by the composer of the aforementioned tunes. Not only was Davis Jr. no mere Bud Powell clone, as commonly reported, but he was a composer of singularly visionary capabilities. In fact, I wish his forward-looking, highly innovative harmonic-melodic structures had been there to guide Coltrane after the "Giant Steps" period.

Davis Jr. sounds somewhat physically weak to me on this recording but compensates with the strength of his swinging, intricate lines (e.g. "Just One of Those Things") and his admirable restraint and patience on the slow-tempoed ballads. He's definitely far more in command than Bud was at this late stage in his career, and he's especially well-served by a muscular yet responsive rhythm section.

The album nevertheless leaves two mysteries: the source of Davis's inspiration for these futuristic, essentially "non-pianistic" numbers; the liner notes' basis for accrediting him as composer of the familiar, quasi-schmaltz pop tune, "Two Different Worlds" (I'm sure the copyright lawyers would clear this up if they smelled a profit).

Somewhere between his undistinguished first recording ("Davis Cup") and this last one, Davis became one of the most original composers in American music. He completely demolishes two myths: that jazz in the '70's was fusion-infected and moribund; that hard bop as played by the Jazz Messengers was predictable and formulaic. Davis was a musical thinker on a grandiose, operatic, Promethean scale. I hope that the "right" musicians will catch up to him and reprise his challenging, exciting, unequalled compositions before it's too late (most are out of print or never made it to CD)."