Tuesday, 30 June 2020

CHRIS 'BIG DOG' DAVIS · FOCUS

Label: Shanachie
June 26 2020

Pocos artistas son igualmente cautivadores detrás de escena y en el escenario. Requiere una cierta cantidad de visión, gran musicalidad y disciplina. En Focus, todas estas habilidades se unen para crear una emocionante experiencia de 11 temas que demuestra el tipo de magia que el teclista y productor nominado al Grammy, Chris "Big Dog" Davis "ha traído a otros artistas como productor. Su toque de Midas ha agregado delicadeza a los esfuerzos de Brian McKnight, George Clinton, Will Downing, Syleena Johnson, Chanté Moore, Maysa y muchos otros. Mientras toma el centro del escenario por primera vez, su magia bendice un álbum completo de temas originales inspiradores y conmovedores. “Esta experiencia ha sido realmente emocionante y gratificante. Mi esperanza es que la gente disfrute de venir a mi mundo musical y obtener una visión más profunda de quién soy y de toda la música que me ha influenciado desde el jazz, el funk gospel y el pop", dice Davis, quien ha producido 17 éxitos #1 en las listas de jazz contemporáneo. Danny Weiss, vicepresidente de Jazz A&R afirma: “Chris ha sido nuestro productor favorito para todos, desde Kim Burrell hasta Maysa y Norman Brown, solo por nombrar algunos. Estamos encantados de lanzar su primer álbum en solitario, para que el mundo pueda presenciar la plena expresión de su talento artístico".

“La idea detrás de Focus era crear música con algunas de mis personas favoritas. También sirvió como un recordatorio para dejar que nuestros sueños se conviertan en nuestra realidad ". El nativo de Waterbury, CT, se inspiró en diversas influencias como Miles Davis, Chaka Khan y George Duke e incluso su propia filosofía zen enraizada para vivir la vida. Focus se une a Davis con un cuadro de los mejores artistas que trabajan en el jazz contemporáneo, incluidos Kim Waters, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Maysa, Bluey y Nick Colionne. “Es muy alentador que todos estos artistas se unan a mí en este proyecto. Cada uno de ellos vino con regalos que hacen que este álbum sea tan especial”, comparte el teclista.

Focus se abre para rendir homenaje a la "Reina del Funk" con el éxito de Doheny/Stuart Chaka Khan "Whatcha Gonna Do For Me". El sofisticado "Big Dog" se une con el saxofonista Gerald Albright. El dúo obtuvo una nominación al Grammy en 2015 por su colaboración Slam Dunk. La canción principal es un himno motivador apropiado, ya que enfrentamos los desafíos de nuestro tiempo actual. Impulsado por el dúo dinámico de Maysa y Bluey, "Focus" es un potente recordatorio para centrarse en las cosas que realmente importan.

La etérea balada zen, "One Day At A Time", nos recuerda que tengamos en cuenta que las líneas de piano en cascada de "Big Dog" vuelan con la trompeta de Rick Braun para lograr un efecto perfecto. La canción se inspira en las conversaciones que Davis ha tenido con su conductor de limusina Max. El "You Are Loved" teñido de gospel, inspirado en George Duke y con el bajista Ace Livingston, enfoca otra capa de belleza, mientras que la jubilosa "Silver Street", con el saxofonista Marty Quadrato, nos transporta por un sinuoso camino de alegría. La composición "It's all Love" lleva el nombre de uno de los dichos favoritos de Davis. Él descubre una montaña de emoción en esta canción que lo une con el saxofonista Dave Koz mientras crean uno de los momentos más memorables del álbum. Focus también muestra el sensual "You Just Smile", con el guitarrista Tony DePaolo. "Todos estamos tan estresados ​​y apurados de un lugar a otro y esta canción es solo un recordatorio de que el mundo sería realmente un lugar mejor si todos tomáramos un momento y sonrieramos", comparte Davis, devoto padre de cinco hijas. Una sorpresa agradable en Focus es la composición "Natural High", que se inspira en Miles Davis y descubre. ‘Big Dog’ lo lleva a un nivel superior en el "Fall Back", mientras que "Just When You Thought You Had Suough", con el guitarrista Nick Colionne, ofrece un dulce ritmo con la combinación perfecta de funk y soul. El álbum termina ceremoniosamente con "Blue Light Special" que muestra a Kim Waters.

Originario de Waterbury, CT, los comienzos de Chris "Big Dog" Davis estaban inmersos en la música. Comenzó a estudiar piano a los cuatro años. Su madre era la directora del coro en la Iglesia Refugio de Cristo, donde tocaba en la banda los siete días de la semana. Más tarde fue reclutado para un programa para después de la escuela en la Universidad de Yale, donde estudió composición clásica. A los dieciséis años, Davis había grabado sus primeros 45 registros evangélicos con el coro juvenil de su iglesia titulado “Lord, Who Shall Abide” y “He’s The Only One.”. Davis continuaría estudiando con la famosa Jackie McLean en la Hartt School of Music. Era una época en la que el gospel, el R&B, el jazz y el hip-hop se fertilizaban de forma cruzada y Davis estaba encontrando su propia voz donde sus arpegios llegaban acentuado. En 1995, tuvo la oportunidad de trabajar con Brian McKnight y apareció con él en The Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show y The Rosie O’Donnell Show. A lo largo de la carrera de Chris "Big Dog" Davis, siempre se ha deleitado con la oportunidad, ya que lo expresó para "escuchar la música y convertirse en el arquitecto que ayuda al artista a lograr su sonido y visión". Su regalo único le ha brindado la oportunidad de mantenerse ocupado durante las últimas dos décadas trabajando con Will Downing, Kim Waters, Kim Burrell, Maysa, Phil Perry, Avant y muchos otros artistas. Esta vez en Focus, el lienzo de "Big Dog" se ha enfocado y los detalles de su arte no dejan lugar a dudas de que es una fuerza a tener en cuenta.

Shanachie Entertainment




Few artists are equally captivating behind the scenes and on the stage. It requires a certain amount of vision, keen musicianship and discipline. On Focus, all of these skills coalesce to create a thrilling 11– track experience that demonstrates the type of magic that multi Grammy nominated keyboardist and producer Chris “Big Dog” Davis’ has brought to other artists as a producer. His Midas touch has added finesse to endeavors by Brian McKnight, George Clinton, Will Downing, Syleena Johnson, Chanté Moore, Maysa, and numerous others. As he takes center stage for the first time on recording, his wizardry blesses an entire album of inspirational and moving originals. “This experience has really been exciting and rewarding. My hope is that people will enjoy coming into my musical world and getting a deeper glimpse into who I am and all of the music that has influenced me from Jazz, Funk Gospel and Pop,” says Davis, who has produced 17 #1 hits on the Contemporary Jazz charts. Danny Weiss, VP of Jazz A&R states, “Chris has been our go-to producer for everyone from Kim Burrell to Maysa to Norman Brown, just to name a few. We’re thrilled to be releasing his first solo album, so that the world can witness the full expression of his artistic talent.”

“The idea behind Focus was to create music with some of my favorite people. It also served as a reminder to keep your eyes on a prize and to let our dreams become our reality,” shares the handsome and amiable 6’3” bodybuilder who spent a stint in the Marine Corps. The Waterbury, CT native drew from diverse influences like Miles Davis, Chaka Khan and George Duke and even his own Zen rooted philosophy to living life. Focus joins Davis with a cadre of the best working artists in Contemporary Jazz including Kim Waters, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Maysa, Bluey and Nick Colionne. “It is so humbling to have all of these artists join me on this project. Every single one of them came bearing gifts that make this album so special,” shares the keyboardist.

Focus opens paying homage to the ‘Queen of Funk’ with the Doheny/Stuart Chaka Khan hit “Whatcha Gonna Do For Me.” “Big Dog’s” sophisticated and in the pocket-groove on this favorite R&B jam unites him with saxophonist Gerald Albright. The duo scored a Grammy nomination in 2015 for their collaboration Slam Dunk. The title-track is a fitting motivational anthem, as we face the challenges of our current time. Powered by the dynamic duo of Maysa and Bluey, “Focus” is a potent reminder to focus on the things that truly matter.

The ethereal Zen ballad, “One Day At A Time” reminds us to be mindful as “Big Dog’s” cascading piano lines take flight with Rick Braun’s sailing trumpet to perfect effect. The song takes inspiration from conversations Davis has had with his limo driver Max. The gospel-tinged “You Are Loved,” inspired by George Duke and featuring bassist Ace Livingston, brings another layer of beauty into focus, while the jubilant “Silver Street,” featuring saxophonist Marty Quadrato, transports us down a winding road of joy. The composition “It’s All Love” is named after one of the Davis’ favorite sayings. He unearths a mountain of emotion on this track that unites him with saxophonist Dave Koz as they create one of the most memorable moments on the album. Focus also showcases the sensual “You Just Smile,” featuring guitarist Tony DePaolo. “We are all so stressed and rushing from one place to the next and this song is just a reminder that the world would truly be a better place if we would all just take a moment and smile,” shares Davis, devoted father to five daughters. A pleasant surprise on Focus is the composition “Natural High” which takes inspiration from Miles Davis and finds “Big Dog” taking us down a bluesy bend as he stretches out and gets loose for this soul drenched number. ‘Big Dog’ kicks it up a notch on the dance-inspired “Fall Back” while “Just When You Thought You Had Enough,” featuring guitarist Nick Colionne, serves up a sweet groove with the perfect combination of funk and soul. The album ceremoniously closes with the show-stopping finisher “Blue Light Special” showcasing Kim Waters.

A native of Waterbury, CT, Chris “Big Dog” Davis’ early beginnings were immersed in music. He began studying piano at age four. His mother was the choir director at Refuge Church of Christ where he played in the band seven days a week. He was later recruited for a gifted after school program at Yale University where he studied classical composition. By sixteen, Davis had recorded his first 45 Gospel records with his church youth choir entitled “Lord, Who Shall Abide” and “He’s The Only One.” Davis would go on to study with famed altoman Jackie McLean at the Hartt School of Music. It was a time when Gospel, R&B, Jazz, and Hip-Hop were cross-fertilizing and Davis was finding his own voice where his arpeggios came accented with back-beats and flat sevenths. In 1995, he landed the opportunity to work with Brian McKnight and appeared with him on The Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show, and The Rosie O’Donnell Show. Throughout Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis’ career he has always reveled in the opportunity as he put it to “hear the music and become the architect that helps the artist achieve their sound and vision.” His unique gift has afforded him the opportunity to remain busy the past two decades working with Will Downing, Kim Waters, Kim Burrell, Maysa, Phil Perry, Avant and countless other artists. This time around on Focus, “Big Dog’s” canvas has come into sharp focus and the details of his artistry leave no doubt that he is a force to reckon with.

Shanachie Entertainment



1 Whatcha Gonna Do for Me (featuring Gerald Albright)
2 Focus (featuring Maysa and Bluey)
3 One Day At A Time (featuring Rick Braun)
4 You Are Loved (featuring Ace Livingston)
5 Silver Street (featuring Marty Q)
6 It's All Love (featuring Dave Koz)
7 You Just Smile (featuring Tony DePaolo)
8 Natural High
9 Fall Back                 
10 Just When You Thought You Had Enough (featuring Nick Colionne)
11 Blue Light Special (featuring Kim Waters)



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