Richard Davis on falling in love with the bass

RUFFIN: NOW A JAZZ MOMENT

2014 NEA JAZZ MASTER RICHARD DAVIS FELL IN LOVE WITH THE BASS AS A KID GROWING UP ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO

Richard Davis: See, in those days you would go to the neighborhood theater and see live musicians perform. You'd see a movie, which was about an hour and a half and then you'd see these live bands performing. And I was always impressed with just watching these guys.

And the bass player, the lights from the stage from backstage or somewhere, would reflect on that nicely polished wooden bass and give off a reflection of light. And in those days the bass player when he end his solo he used to turn the bass around like this, slap it and it'd turn around. And I said, man, what is that? That’s good!

THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH RICHARD DAVIS WAS PRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

Excerpt of Davis improvising used by permission of Richard Davis.