CHRIS ‘BIG DOG’ DAVIS; Focus (Shanachie)

  • Home
  • Reviews
  • CHRIS ‘BIG DOG’ DAVIS; Focus (Shanachie)

Eagle-eyed soul and jazz sleeve note browsers will immediately recognize the name Chris Davis – nicknamed ‘Big Dog’ – for reasons which have never been fully explained! Over the years the keyboardist and producer has worked with all kinds of big names … people like Brian McKnight, George Clinton, Will Downing, Syleena Johnson, Chanté Moore, and Maysa to name just a few … and that’s before we mention his 17 #1 hits on the Contemporary Jazz charts as producer. … little wonder he’s multi-Grammy nominated!  Mr Davis now thinks the time’s right to come out from beyond the control desk and offer us his own album and it might come as no surprise to you to learn that to help him deliver he’s called on the services of some off the top names he’s worked with in the past. So helping out here are (amongst others) Dave Koz, Kim Waters,  Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Nick Colionne, Bluey and Maysa.

The ubiquities and dependable Ms Leek takes lead vocals on the album’s title track and with input from Bluey Maunick, this ‘Focus’ sounds like a wonderful  Incognito reunion. The tune is a steady, danceable groove with lyrics that echo Chris Davis’s Zen rooted philosophy…essentially keep your dreams focused and let them become reality.

‘Focus’ is the only full on vocal on the album though there are plenty of other cuts that feature  some vocal input – like the smooth, mid-tempo ‘Just When You’d Had Enough’ and the more feisty ‘Whatcha Gonna Do For Me’. Here the vocals centre round  bvs cooing the title on the chorus. ‘Whatcha Gonna Do For Me’ is an album highlight.  Starring Gerald Albright’ sax, it’s a classic smooth jazz, soul-rooted groove. The big Quiet Storm moment is the Dave Koz featured ‘It’s All Love’ while the most complex, jazziest offering is ‘Natural High’ (no, not the Bloodstone tune).

We believe that this album will be available from June 26th

(BB) 3/5