Well, this might be pretty unoriginal and obvious, but, here goes. What do Chaka Khan, the late James Brown, The Eurythmics, the late Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Lisa Stansfield, Tina Turner, and Paul Hardcastle all have in common? That’s right, and you go to the head of the class. It’s an association with Snake Davis, one smooth, soulful and funky sax player with a lot of creativity and imagination. Oh, he’s been away from the scene for a bit, but he’s back with a vengeance here on Talking Bird. Not only proficient on sax and flute, he showcases his expertise on one of my favorite instruments to hear: the shakuhachi. A real treat for me.
Talking Bird is a cornucopia of style, sound, mystique, funk and brilliance. There’s more than enough here for the most discriminating ear as well as the ear that welcomes a diversity of sound. It’s all here in a neat package of skill and appeal. From the smooth and funky opening track (also the title track) to the soulful utterings on "Refuge," to the exoticism of "Dragonfly," to the sultry, sexy, bluesy midnight ballad "Dreaming On" (umph, umph, umph, will be the response from the Euge Groove/Boney James fans, particularly the ladies), to the up-tempo Latin calor of "Day of the Snake" to all of the other movers and groovers on this well-conceived bit of artistry, Davis lays it all out for all to appreciate and appreciate you undoubtedly will!
Davis, who's been hanging out mostly in the United Kingdom (he also did a three-month stint in Japan), is scheduled to embark upon an extensive 2008 tour. I certainly hope there will be some stops here in the U.S. That tour will be most incomplete if he doesn’t tap into the enthusiasm and appreciation he most certainly will receive here! Should he plan a few stops here, my advice to all who read this would be: Come one, come all. Let’s all do this because this is one artist and his material not to be missed.