The Arthur Davis System for Double Bass.

Art Davis was blacklisted in the ’70s for speaking up about racism in the music industry, then later earned a doctorate in clinical psychology and balanced performance dates with appointments to see patients. Known for his stunning and complete mastery of the instrument, 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, Davis performed on the saxophonist’s albums including “Ascension,” Volumes 1 and 2 of “The Africa/Brass Sessions” and “Ole Coltrane.” 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,” Davis said in an excerpt from So What magazine posted on his Web site. He played with a long and varied list of artists: Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, John Denver, Peter, Paul and Mary and Bob Dylan. 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,” 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.”
This was a cat who found his home hanging right there, outside the box. A quality or trait I can only dream dream of matching.

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About grnarrow

Setlist Architect/Art Scene Checker-Outer/Sound Feeler
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