Walter Davis

A Being Such as You

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Walter Davis (who was often listed as Walter Davis, Jr.) was sporadically recorded as a leader and this 1979 session made for Red in Milan, Italy, is the first of three albums of solo piano. A fine hard bop stylist, Davis also delves into Dizzy Gillespie's Cuban jazz masterpiece "Manteca" (a rather challenging number without the presence of any added percussionists), standards ("My Funny Valentine" and "Embraceable You"), and a pair of less frequently performed Bud Powell compositions ("Glass Enclosure" and "I'll Keep Loving You"). But the obvious highlights are his three originals. The intense "Scorpio Rising" is easily Davis' best-known work, but "Backgammon" is also a rapid-fire hard bop vehicle deserving of wider recognition. After a flashy introduction, "A Being Such as You" reverts into an almost reverent ballad; the gospel influence is immediately apparent. This is a valuable part of Walter Davis' limited discography as a leader and it deserves to be reissued.

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