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The Best Of Nathan Davis '65-76


Nathan Davis has been an internationally significant figure in jazz throughout the latter half of the 20th century, but to many, his musical legacy remains little known. This album presents the music of Nathan Davis as it developed through the '60s and '70s, from bop through modal to world sounds and funk. Having turned his back on the U.S., he spent the '60s living in Europe, playing and recording with jazz luminaries such as Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey and Eric Dolphy, before returning at the end of the decade to take up a career teaching in Pittsburgh. This collection includes recordings from his most significant albums as recorded in France, Germany, Yugoslavia, Turkey and the U.S., displaying a variety of musical styles, with performances by Davis on tenor & soprano saxophone and flute. The CD booklet contains previously-unpublished photographs and detailed biographical information, documenting a career which has seen him forge an individual path through the history of post-war jazz and help pioneer jazz education in the U.S. at the University of Pittsburgh. Astonishingly, much of Davis' work has never seen general release in the U.S. or the UK, despite his albums being true gems of modern jazz. Less still has been re-released, and until now, there has never been a representative compilation or career overview. This first-ever anthology of Nathan Davis includes liner notes that contain biographical info and also details of the recordings themselves, as gleaned from interviews with Davis and his professional colleagues. There are also pictures of and information on the original LPs which are now coveted collector's items. Finally, there are answers as to why he left the U.S. to develop a career in Europe, and why he spurned the limelight and opportunity to achieve fame. There's also an update on his current interests and reflections upon his life as professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Pittsburgh. Spanning a wide range of deep, spiritual jazz, haunting modal melodies, ethnic Turkish jazz and '70s funk, this career compilation will hopefully be the first step toward the wider recognition that his contribution to jazz so richly deserves.