Walt Dickerson & Richard Davis ‘Tenderness’

LP front coverWalt DickersonRichard DavisLP liner notes

01 Tenderness (9:35)
02 Devine Gemini (3:37)
03 So Thoughtful (4:49)
04 The Road Must Bend (9:00)
05 Play Son Play (8:09)

Walt Dickerson, vibes
Richard Davis, bass

Total time 36:10
Recorded 1977
LP released by SteepleChase, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1985

US vibraphonist Walt Dickerson (1928-2008) is better known for his legendary Quartet’s Impressions Of A Patch Of Blue LP, 1965, with Sun Ra on harpsichord (see here), and his Piece LP, with drummer Andrew Cyrille in 1975. Two years later, Dickerson teamed with bassist Richard Davis for this Tenderness LP. Dickerson’s style is a radical departure from the Lionel Hampton/Milt Jackson tradition, as he often focuses on long resonances, harmonics or radical pianissimos not often heard in the Modern Jazz Quartet’s commodified standards, for instance. He can leave a bar ringing for a relatively long time, sometimes until the resonance completely extinguishes. He has been called a mystic of the instrument, but I think he merely takes great care of sound itself. This is Metal Machine Music played on an instrument that is, after all, a complex machinery with mechanical parts, such as resonator tubes or sustain pedal. Fantastic disc, magical sounds.


See also:
Robert Wood Sonabular >

11 Responses to “Walt Dickerson & Richard Davis ‘Tenderness’”

  1. 1 twinkle November 21, 2009 at 9:59 am

    That is a nice smooth ride.

  2. 2 continuo November 21, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Chances are I’m the only one to hear the Metal Machine Music in it. Hyperbolic post or what? Thanks for dropping by, dude.

  3. 4 flageolette November 21, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    feel free to add flageolette’s on your Blog..:)
    I added your nice Site to our Side-bar ..


  4. 5 gidouille November 21, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    If I recall correctly, Dickerson used short handled mallets with hard rubber tips, which enabled him to get his trademark sharp attack on an instrument more usually known for a mellifluous tone. There’s another disc of his from about the same time with Andrew Cyrille and the recently departed Sirone, which I remember being very good as well, though I don’t have a copy.

  5. 6 continuo November 21, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    To Flageolette: thanks for visiting these shores.
    To Gidouille: so my Metal theory might be right, after all, if Dickerson uses a special technique. Did you notice he’s using different mallets and way to handle them on the LP cover and the picture above? And yep, the record with Sirone looks interesting. Thanks for your knowledgeable comment.

  6. 7 Rob Mullender November 30, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    If you can find it, his LP with Jimmi Johnsun ‘To My Son’ is a beauty. Duo’s are often difficult to like, but Dickerson always pulls it off.

  7. 8 continuo November 30, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Rob. I’ll definitely watch for more Dickerson records when a-hunting for LPs.

  8. 9 Alex April 17, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Have you Sun Ra – Walt Dickerson – Duo?
    Haverford, PA, USA,
    Haverford College,

  9. 10 continuo April 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Hi, Alex. I have Walt Dickerson Quartet’s Impressions Of A Patch Of Blue, 1965, as downloaded from a blog. Do you have the 1980 LP yourself? I might be interested by a rip.

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