- 11 Sep 23
Davis also taught jazz at the University of Wisconsin for nearly 40 years.
Jazz bassist Richard Davis has passed away at the age of 93 after almost two years of hospice care.
Born in Chicago, Davis started his career in 1947 as a 17-year-old. He was best known for his playing on Van Morrison’s 1968 record Astral Weeks.
Other albums that include Davis’ bass playing include Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, Paul Simon’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon’ as well as Bo Diddley’s Where It all Began. He also sat in as double bassist for legends like Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra.
Often serving as bandleader for the groups he performed with, it’s estimated that Davis had over 3,000 album credits across his career.
His first studio LP as a lead artists was 1967’s Heavy Sounds, a collaboration with jazz drummer Elvin Jones. His debut solo project was 1968’s Muses for Richard Davis, while his last works Madison and Blue Monk were released in 2008.
Davis also worked as an educator and activist, 1977 he moved from New York to Madison, Wisconsin to teach at the University of Wisconsin- where he became Professor of Bass, Jazz History and Jazz Ensemble.
“Richard touched the lives of thousands and will be missed by friends, family, fans, students, and colleagues around the world,” wrote his daughter Persia, on an official memorial page set up for him following his passing.