Baltimore’s THOMMY DAVIS has been at the top of the soulful house game for something like 40 years! Those with long memories will remember his work with Jump Street Records, the Basement Boys, Teddy Douglas, Mass Order and Ultra Nate. Then there’s his long and fruitful relationship with fellow Baltimorean DJ Spen and their work with the Quantize and Unquantize labels.
Davis, it seems, just goes on. His 2019 ‘Urban Jungle’ LP project with Greg Lewis was acclaimed and in recent years he’s produced a slew of quality, floor filling singles…. and there’s a goodly selection of those on his latest album collection, ‘Mr Davis’.
Amongst the tracks you may well be familiar with are the covers of the O’Jays’ oldie ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (a collaboration with Randy Roberts and Richard Burton) and Jean Carne’s ‘Was That All It Was’ (a DJ Spen/John Morales mix with Richard Burton at the mic again). Much of the new material on ‘Mr Davis’ has a Philly provenance too….. none more obvious than a stunning new take on the O’Jays’ ‘Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby’ with Randy Roberts doing a wonderful Eddie Levert! Amongst the other highlights are a new twist on Karen Young’s disco gem, ‘Hot Shot’ (here in a duet from Tasha LaRae (Arrested Development) and Sheila Ford; a cover of Rene & Angela’s ‘I Love You More’ with Tasha LaRae; a new look at Patti Labelle’s gorgeous ‘Isn’t It A Shame’ and a souped up take on Jomanda’s ‘Make My Body Rock’ featuring Dana Weave.
Mr Davis describes this new album thus: “A musical journey often leads to places that you have lived through, and along the way you pick songs you love and people who love you that have travelled the road with you. This album project was like a map, souvenirs and a scrapbook of emotions wrapped into tunes that made it a never-ending road of self-reflection!” I’d simply describe the collection as the best soulful house album of the year so far… with the emphasis on SOULFUL.