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My Three Would Be... Ron Davis

Every Week as part of Dani Elwell's "Sunday Afternoon Jazz," Dani asks notable personalities from all walks of life what their top three jazz tunes are.

With his new album out entitled Blue Modules, we were curious about pianist and composer Ron Davis and his choices, so…

Ron, your three would be?

Three? I never thought I could narrow the list down to three hundred, let alone three. And I could probably come up with three thousand! But I did it, with a tinge of regret for leaving Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane, Daniela Nardi, Elizabeth Shepherd, Mark Kieswetter, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Sophie Milman, Louis Armstrong and others- so many others! -off the list.

Here goes:
1. Art Tatum- Yesterdays (from the album "Piano Starts Here")
Beautiful. Monumental. Rich. Titanic. Moving. Eternal. Supernatural. Brilliant. Beyond comprehension. Ahead of its time (even today). Genius. Genius. Genius genius genius. The greatest track by the greatest pianist who ever lived. Piano Starts Here.

2. Take 6 - So Much 2 Say (Live) (from the album "Live")
Stunning, stunning musicianship, arrangements, groove. Deeply felt, with a sense of easy virtuosity and fun. No instruments other than voice. Pure, body-generated music. This 6-man a cappella group has been blending jazz with gospel, r&b and other influences for years. For me, Take 6 ranks among the top jazz groups of all time.

3. Phineas Newborn Jr. - While My Lady Sleeps (from the album "While My Lady Sleeps")
Gorgeous playing and music, with strings, from a pianist's pianist. Phineas Newborn Jr. may be the most underrated pianist in jazz history. His While My Lady Sleeps (both the song and the album) is a prime example of how wonderfully jazz can blend with the great classical tradition. It's an inspiration for my jazz-fused-with-symphony-orchestra project, Symphronica (symphronica.com).

 

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