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date: 18 January 2020

Davis, Richard (jazz bassist and educator)locked

  • Bill Bennett


(b Chicago, IL, April 15, 1930). American jazz double bass player and educator. He studied privately with Rudolf Fahsbender of the Chicago SO from 1945 to 1954 while playing with a number of local orchestras in Chicago. His classical training further developed at the Vandercook College of Music (BMEd 1952). His experience in dance bands led to engagements with Ahmad Jamal (1953–4) and Don Shirley (1954–5). In the late 1950s he worked largely with Sarah Vaughan, with whom his precision of time and tone became evident. The early 1960s were very productive for Davis, as documented on many recordings; during this period he also worked on a freelance basis in symphony orchestras, performing under Stravinsky and Leonard Bernstein. A highly sought-after player, he has recorded with musicians as varied as Jimmy Smith and Roland Kirk, and can be heard in the context of a large ensemble on recordings by the Thad Jones–Mel Lewis Orchestra. His flexible playing has contributed to albums as diverse as Eric Dolphy’s ...

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