"SO IN LOVE" liner notes
RICHARD DAVIS BASS/VOCAL and Co-Producer/ JOHN HICKS PIANO
RECORDED AUGUST 27 2001
This album represents a collection of feelings that have been in my mind and heart for years. I have really
been blessed in many ways. Our country on 9/11/01 experienced a major devastating blow that caused a
heavy loss of lives in New York and Washington D.C. Hate transformed into love is the only journey I can see
that we all should take. After all, we are all related to each other. I dedicate this CD to the oneness of
humankind in the hope that we are curious enough to know what that journey would feel like. That would
certainly be a utopia. Do not expect this to occur in your lifetime. BUT think about generations ahead and do
your best now for the sake of your asendants. With billions of years behind us as a measure, it seems that
our time on earth is like one grain of sand from an enormous beach. Who can predict how many eons it
would take to reach a better place? I am “So In Love” with the idea and efforts that I can make to have this
happen. I thank God that I have such energy to look at that goal with happiness.
1. Swing Low Sweet Chariot Traditional
This was my father’s favorite hymnal. He would hum or sing it as far back as I can remember.As I grew up I wondered if he was really looking for the chariot with a band of angels (as the song mentions) to take him to a better non-oppressing place. This old negro spiritual denotes the strife of black people in white society. I followed my Dad around like a shadow and learned all of what he was doing. He was a University contained in his five foot nine inch frame. I corrected him when he would introduce me to his friends as “my son, the musicianer”. Later,I found that he was right. That is the way they say it in Kentucky. It taught me not to use my standards as a reason to criticize. Just before he died, he said that I was his all and all. WOW! I wore the suit he left me until it was just threads.
2. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child Traditional
In this case, even though my mother died in birthing me, Elnora Johnson instantly became my mother. So I was never motherless. This song is dedicated to the lonely and less fortunate. I was “So In Love” with her and my Dad, Robert Johnson
3. Wade in the Water Traditional
I just love the minor key of this popular spiritual. It has a good jazz feel. Bowing a melody on the bass in it’s lowest register is not commonly done today. I dedicate this to the great hero of mine in the name of Paul Robeson. He was a great baritone (OTHELLO), athlete, orator, activist , scholar and. far ahead of his time in fighting for human rights. You should hear his recordings of titles 1 & 2. I met him when I was eight years old and again when I was 22.
4. Lullaby Petite Ray Bryant
While sitting in a hotel lobby in a small remote town near Kobe Japan, I could hear a recording of such a beautiful tune. Immediately, I asked the waiter to identify the recording and artist. Just as I had assumed, it was Ray Bryant playing his own composition. Ray was the first person I had met that brought his own child (daughter) into the world. Instructions were given to him via telephone by his wife’s doctor. This recording took my mind off of the remains of the devastating earthquake that I could see from my hotel room. A lullaby tells a baby how much you are “So In Love” with it.
5. So In Love Cole Porter
Ah!!! “so in love” with this one. To some, I am known as the “mole in the hole”. The late Nathan Rutstein coined that term. Virtually means that I am somewhat of a workaholic. Any woman that I associate with is forewarned that she has to initiate any social events. I was taken to see Fred Hersch (pianist) in concert. He moved my friend to tears as he passionately moved over the keys.
That evening was my inspiration to add “So In Love” to my repertoire.
6. Send in the Clowns Stephen Sondheim
Susumu (producer) wanted to hear a simple statement of this Sondheim song. So here’s to Mr. Morikawa. I hope you like it.
7. One for Amos Sam Jones
This one is for “Homey” as Sam Jones called everyone. Sam was one of the neatest dressers I ever witnessed. But besides that, his time was impeccable. I was fortunately presented with his bass by Rufus Reid to perform at the Milt Hinton’s memorial service in New York. Big Daddy of us all. Sam and Milt have left us, but have they really?
8. The Plain and Simple Truth Oscar Pettiford
This one is dedicated to one of the most natural bassist I have ever heard. I first heard him in 1945 on a recording with blues singer Wynonie Harris.
Apollo Records Oscar Pettiford And His All Stars. I bought this old 78 at a record store (Isaacs Records) located at 603 E. 47th St. in Chicago. I treasured it as I treasured O.P. I recently , for preservation’s sake, had the 78 converted to a CD and cassette.I met and hung out with him after moving to New York where he was KING. “So In Love” with his bass playing.
9. Beautiful Shores/Ayaka Richard Davis
Ayaka Nakamura asked me to be her grandfather in August of 2000. I was in a teaching situation with her for 3 days in Yamaguchi. She was an accomplished pianist who at 11 years of age wanted to learn jazz improvisation.
So along with Barry Harris, Lewis Nash and Daichi Kondo we had a great experience. I have really been blessed. Ayaka writes me email everyday. I told her that I lost my grandson when he was 12 yrs old. She wrote back to say “your grandson loves you from heaven, Ayaka loves you from earth” After drying my eyes, I remembered that she told me that she lost her grandfather when she was 2 years old. We need each other. I write this one day before her 12th birthday 9/19/01. The name Ayaka means beautiful heart always dream, always smile.
10. Josh Richard Davis
Josh was written for one of my former three sons. I say former because unfortunately he divorced me in his teen years. My former wife and I adopted him from the Elizabeth Saunders home for kids in Japan. It was a beautiful time but sometimeŠ
11. My Little Brown Book Billy Strayhorn
I am not a singer by no means but I love them. I received my Doctorate Degree in accompanying from the University of Sarah Vaughan. It was a five year program.This rendition is a feeling more than vocal. It expresses a sentiment of a love that used to be. We have all been there. Billy Strayhorn demonstrated such maturity in composing at an early age. Some of his beautiful music and stories were written while still in High School.
I want to thank Jim Anderson for engineering this session.
I want to thank Susumu producing the CD.
Most of all I want to thank John Hicks for his genius piano playing and easy way of doing things. WOW!, I love what he does. I hope we can develop tours together.
So In Love,
Cousin Richard 9/18/01