Authentic Wisconsin.  Richard Davis

Richard Davis and Elvin Jones Heavy Sounds.

Above: Richard Davis and Elvin Jones "Heavy Sounds" album (1967). Davis is in the foreground on the right.

Richard Davis - American jazz bassist, teacher; Richard Davis was born on April 15, 1930 in Chicago but moved to Wisconsin in 1977 and became a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, teaching bass, jazz history, and improvisation.

Richard Davis joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1977 after spending 23 years in New York City establishing himself as one of the world’s premier bass players.

Down Beat International Critics Poll named him Best Bassist from 1967-74. He took the same honors from that publication’s Readers Poll for seven consecutive years.

In 1993, Davis founded the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists, Inc.

In 2009, Davis received the Exceptional Service Award University of Wisconsin-Madison 2009, and the Spencer Tracy Award for Distinction in the Performing Arts from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

In 2013, Davis was chosen as a 2014 "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Richard Davis passed away on September 6, 2023 in Madison, Wisconsin. You can read his New York Times obituary.

For more information on Richard Davis, visit Wikipedia.

You can also visit his website at:

Partial Discography includes:

  • Stitt Plays Bird (1963)
  • Heavy Sounds [with Elvin Jones] (1967)
  • Muses for Richard Davis (1969)
  • The Philosophy of the Spiritual (1971)
  • Epistrophy & Now's the Time (1972)
  • Dealin' (1973)
  • Fancy Free (1977)
  • Divine Gemini [with Walt Dickerson] (1977)
  • Harvest (1979)
  • Way Out West (1980)
  • Tenderness [with Walt Dickerson] (1985)
  • Persia My Dear (1987)
  • Four Play (DIW) [with Clifford Jordan, James Williams and Ronnie Burrage](1990)
  • Body and Soul (1991)
  • I Remember Clifford (1992)
  • Live at Sweet Basil 1994)
  • Naima (1995)
  • Reminisces (1995)
  • Total Package (1997)
  • Forest Flowers (2000)
  • The Bassist: Homage to Diversity with John Hicks (2001)
  • So in Love (2001)
  • Madison (2008)
  • Blue Monk (2008)

Buy Richard Davis album/CD music at Amazon. (Click on image below to browse.)




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Famous Wisconsinites

Richard Davis.

Richard Davis
American jazz bassist. Professor of Bass (European Classical and Jazz), Jazz History, and Combo Improvisation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Richard Davis Dealin'.

Above: Richard Davis - Dealin'.

Richard Davis The Bassist.

Above: Richard Davis - The Bassist.

Above: NEA Jazz Masters: Interview with Richard Davis.

Above: A profile about bass professor Richard Davis, who combines his passion for the bass and life lessons to teach more than just music.

Above: Wisconsin Reflections; Richard Davis, Professor of Bass.

Richard Davis with Junior Mance  on Blue Monk.

Above: Richard Davis with Junior Mance- Blue Monk.

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