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Art Davis; double bassist who played with jazz greats; 73

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  • pdqblues
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070807/news_1m7davis.html OBITUARY Art Davis; double bassist who played with jazz greats; 73 ASSOCIATED PRESS August
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 11, 2007
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      http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070807/news_1m7davis.html

      OBITUARY
      Art Davis; double bassist who played with jazz greats; 73

      ASSOCIATED PRESS

      August 7, 2007

      Art Davis, the renowned double bassist who played with John Coltrane
      and other jazz greats, has died. He was 73.

      Mr. Davis died of a heart attack July 29 at his home in Long Beach,
      his son Kimaili Davis told the Los Angeles Times.

      Mr. Davis was blacklisted in the 1970s for speaking up about racism in
      the music industry, and he later earned a doctorate in clinical
      psychology, balancing performance dates with appointments to see patients.

      "He was adventurous with his approach to playing music," said pianist
      Nate Morgan, who played with the elder Davis intermittently over the
      past 10 years. "It takes a certain amount of integrity to step outside
      the box and say, 'I like it here, and I'm going to hang here for a
      while.' "

      Known for his stunning and complete mastery of the instrument, Mr.
      Davis was able to jump between genres. He played classical music with
      the New York Philharmonic; was a member of the NBC, Westinghouse and
      CBS orchestras; and played for Broadway shows.

      The most enriching experience of his career was collaborating with
      John Coltrane. Described by jazz critic Nat Hentoff as Coltrane's
      favorite bassist, Mr. Davis performed on the saxophonist's albums
      including "Ascension," Volumes 1 and 2 of "The Africa/Brass Sessions"
      and "Ole Coltrane."

      The two musicians met one night in the late 1950s at Small's Paradise,
      a jazz club in Harlem.

      Mr. Davis viewed his instrument as "the backbone of the band," one
      that should "inspire the group by proposing harmonic information with
      a certain sound quality and rhythmic impulses," Mr. Davis said in an
      excerpt from So What magazine posted on his Web site.

      By following his own advice, Mr. Davis' career flourished. He played
      with a long and varied list of artists: Thelonious Monk; Duke
      Ellington; Rahsaan Roland Kirk; Louis Armstrong; Judy Garland; John
      Denver; the trio Peter, Paul and Mary; and Bob Dylan.

      Mr. Davis began studying piano at age 5 in Harrisburg, Pa., where he
      was born in 1933. By sixth grade, Mr. Davis studied the tuba in school
      because it was the only instrument available, he said.

      By 1951, he decided to make music his career. He chose the double
      bass, believing it would allow more opportunities to make a living. At
      age 17, he studied with the principal double bassist at the
      Philadelphia Orchestra. But when he auditioned for his hometown's
      symphony, the audition committee was so unduly harsh and demanding
      that the conductor Edwin MacArthur questioned their objectivity.

      "The answer was, 'Well, he's colored,' and there was silence," Mr.
      Davis recalled in a 2002 article in Double Bassist magazine. "Finally
      MacArthur burst out, 'If you don't want him, then you don't want me.'
      So they quickly got together and accepted me."

      After high school, Mr. Davis studied classical music on scholarship at
      the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music. At
      night he played jazz in New York clubs.

      In the 1970s, his fortunes waned after he filed an unsuccessful
      discrimination lawsuit against the New York Philharmonic. Like other
      black musicians who challenged hiring practices, he lost work and
      industry connections.

      With less work coming his way, Mr. Davis returned to school and in
      1981, earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from New York
      University. For many years he was a practicing psychologist while also
      working as a musician.

      As a result of his lawsuit and protest, Mr. Davis played a key role in
      the increased use of the so-called blind audition, in which musicians
      are heard but not seen by those evaluating them, Hentoff said.

      The accomplished musician also pioneered a fingering technique for the
      bass and wrote "The Arthur Davis System for Double Bass."

      Mr. Davis also wore the hat of university professor. He taught at the
      University of California Irvine for two years. Most recently, Mr.
      Davis was a part-time music instructor at Orange Coast College in
      Costa Mesa.

      Besides his son Kimaili, Mr. Davis is survived by another son and a
      daughter.

      (c) Copyright 2007 Union-Tribune Publishing Co. • A Copley Newspaper Site
    • tc
      Much love and respect. R.I.P.
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 12, 2007
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        Much love and respect. R.I.P.

        On 8/11/07, pdqblues <PDQBlues@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070807/news_1m7davis.html
        >
        > OBITUARY
        > Art Davis; double bassist who played with jazz greats; 73
        >
        > ASSOCIATED PRESS
        >
        > August 7, 2007
        >
        > Art Davis, the renowned double bassist who played with John Coltrane
        > and other jazz greats, has died. He was 73.
        >
        > Mr. Davis died of a heart attack July 29 at his home in Long Beach,
        > his son Kimaili Davis told the Los Angeles Times.
        >
        > Mr. Davis was blacklisted in the 1970s for speaking up about racism in
        > the music industry, and he later earned a doctorate in clinical
        > psychology, balancing performance dates with appointments to see patients.
        >
        > "He was adventurous with his approach to playing music," said pianist
        > Nate Morgan, who played with the elder Davis intermittently over the
        > past 10 years. "It takes a certain amount of integrity to step outside
        > the box and say, 'I like it here, and I'm going to hang here for a
        > while.' "
        >
        > Known for his stunning and complete mastery of the instrument, Mr.
        > Davis was able to jump between genres. He played classical music with
        > the New York Philharmonic; was a member of the NBC, Westinghouse and
        > CBS orchestras; and played for Broadway shows.
        >
        > The most enriching experience of his career was collaborating with
        > John Coltrane. Described by jazz critic Nat Hentoff as Coltrane's
        > favorite bassist, Mr. Davis performed on the saxophonist's albums
        > including "Ascension," Volumes 1 and 2 of "The Africa/Brass Sessions"
        > and "Ole Coltrane."
        >
        > The two musicians met one night in the late 1950s at Small's Paradise,
        > a jazz club in Harlem.
        >
        > Mr. Davis viewed his instrument as "the backbone of the band," one
        > that should "inspire the group by proposing harmonic information with
        > a certain sound quality and rhythmic impulses," Mr. Davis said in an
        > excerpt from So What magazine posted on his Web site.
        >
        > By following his own advice, Mr. Davis' career flourished. He played
        > with a long and varied list of artists: Thelonious Monk; Duke
        > Ellington; Rahsaan Roland Kirk; Louis Armstrong; Judy Garland; John
        > Denver; the trio Peter, Paul and Mary; and Bob Dylan.
        >
        > Mr. Davis began studying piano at age 5 in Harrisburg, Pa., where he
        > was born in 1933. By sixth grade, Mr. Davis studied the tuba in school
        > because it was the only instrument available, he said.
        >
        > By 1951, he decided to make music his career. He chose the double
        > bass, believing it would allow more opportunities to make a living. At
        > age 17, he studied with the principal double bassist at the
        > Philadelphia Orchestra. But when he auditioned for his hometown's
        > symphony, the audition committee was so unduly harsh and demanding
        > that the conductor Edwin MacArthur questioned their objectivity.
        >
        > "The answer was, 'Well, he's colored,' and there was silence," Mr.
        > Davis recalled in a 2002 article in Double Bassist magazine. "Finally
        > MacArthur burst out, 'If you don't want him, then you don't want me.'
        > So they quickly got together and accepted me."
        >
        > After high school, Mr. Davis studied classical music on scholarship at
        > the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music. At
        > night he played jazz in New York clubs.
        >
        > In the 1970s, his fortunes waned after he filed an unsuccessful
        > discrimination lawsuit against the New York Philharmonic. Like other
        > black musicians who challenged hiring practices, he lost work and
        > industry connections.
        >
        > With less work coming his way, Mr. Davis returned to school and in
        > 1981, earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from New York
        > University. For many years he was a practicing psychologist while also
        > working as a musician.
        >
        > As a result of his lawsuit and protest, Mr. Davis played a key role in
        > the increased use of the so-called blind audition, in which musicians
        > are heard but not seen by those evaluating them, Hentoff said.
        >
        > The accomplished musician also pioneered a fingering technique for the
        > bass and wrote "The Arthur Davis System for Double Bass."
        >
        > Mr. Davis also wore the hat of university professor. He taught at the
        > University of California Irvine for two years. Most recently, Mr.
        > Davis was a part-time music instructor at Orange Coast College in
        > Costa Mesa.
        >
        > Besides his son Kimaili, Mr. Davis is survived by another son and a
        > daughter.
        >
        > (c) Copyright 2007 Union-Tribune Publishing Co. • A Copley Newspaper Site
        >
        >
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