Walter Davis Jr. – Davis Cup (1959/2010)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 38:08 minutes | 1.5 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: acousticsounds.com | Booklet & Front cover | © Blue Note Records
Although a Blue Note regular at the time on sessions by Donald Byrd, Art Blakey and others, Walter Davis made only one album for the label. With Byrd, Jackie McLean, Sam Jones and Art Taylor, he explores six of his finest compositions. Davis possessed the ability to write music that was funky and catchy, but still progressive, which explains why he was one of Art Blakey’s favorite pianists and composers. “Minor Mind,” “Make It” and “Millie’s Delight” are among the album’s highlights.
Walter Davis, Jr.’s debut record as a leader for Blue Note is a terrific hard bop session, a driving collection of six original tunes that emphasize the strengths not only of the pianist himself, but also his supporting band: trumpeter Donald Byrd, alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Art Taylor. Apart from the lovely ballad “Sweetness,” Davis Cup moves along at a brisk pace, with the rhythm section urging the soloists to new heights. Byrd has rarely sounded better, and on this date McLean provides ample evidence that he was moving beyond the conventions of hard bop and developing his own unique style. Davis, of course, does more than acquit himself — he contributes an engaging, energetic performance that keeps the music grounded. His compositions are just as captivating, whether it’s the swinging “Rhumba Nhumba” or the darkly invigorating “Minor Mind.” It all adds up to a wonderful straight-ahead hard bop date, one that’s so good it’s a wonder that Davis didn’t receive another chance to lead a session until 1979. –Stephen Thomas Erlewine
1 ‘Smake It 5:08
2 Loodle-Lot 6:00
3 Sweetness 8:15
4 Rhumba Nhumba 7:01
5 Minor Mind 6:28
6 Millie’s Delight 5:06
Walter Davis Jr. – piano
Donald Byrd – trumpet
Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
Sam Jones – bass
Art Taylor – drums
Recorded: August 2, 1959 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Mastered: Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman at AcousTech Mastering, Camarillo, California.