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Out of stock

Nathan Davis

Rules Of Freedom (Lp)

Label: Polydor

Format: LP

Genre: Jazz

Out of stock

Exact LP repro edition A grey-area edition of the legendary 1967 modal masterwork by one of the greatest unsung jazz pioneers of the 20th century. A ture lost underground jazz classic from the late '60, filled with long, flowing tunes that have tremendous modal energy and a very cohesive feel. Backtracking a little, Nathan Davis was born in 1937 in Kansas City, Kansas and attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence before shipping off to military service in Germany in 1960. After being discharged, he stayed on in Berlin and subsequently Paris, where he befriended and formed a co-operative band with reed player Eric Dolphy. Upon Dolphy's passing, Davis continued the ensemble and employed young trumpeter Woody Shaw as a regular front-line partner. In addition to a brief and undocumented stint in the Jazz Messengers, he also worked with drummers Kenny Clarke and Art Taylor, pianists Francy Boland, Rene Urtreger and Mal Waldron, trumpeter Benny Bailey and numerous others during this fertile period.

As Dolphy was helpful in getting Davis significant work upon relocating to Europe, so Davis returned the favor to Shaw and fellow Jayhawker, trumpeter Carmell Jones. Jones appeared on Davis' second date as a leader, The Hip Walk (Saba, 1965), with the Clarke-Boland Band rhythm section of Boland, Clarke and bassist Jimmy Woode. "B's Blues" starts off the collection in a vein of loose, dry hard-bop, and were it not for the leader's soprano, might seem firmly rooted in a late 1950s or early 1960s approach to modern jazz. Davis runs on tart, eastern-tinged scales that, while fully within the chordal structure that Boland sets up, somehow keen towards an edge not traditionally represented in hard bop. Jones' fat blasts are hot and make an interesting foil for the leader's slightly-unhinged approach, both players splaying out wide even as they dart amongst one another.

The latter half of the 1960s found Davis leading a pair of quartet dates for the Polydor and Edici labels, both with Art Taylor in the drums chair and either Hampton Hawes or Mal Waldron on piano and bassists Jimmy Garrison and Jimmy Woode. Rules of Freedom (Polydor, 1967) was particularly interesting for its inclusion of Hawes, who adds a strangely curt rhapsodic quality to proceedings that otherwise recall a particularly North African-inspired Coltrane. "A5" finds Davis' soprano parsing slight, behind-the-beat phrases with incision and delicacy, Taylor and Garrison knitting a dense carpet underneath and around the leader and Hawes' dusky hunt-and-peck comping.
Cat. number: 623 275
Year: 2018