Drummer Dennis Davis Passes
April 8, 2016 at 5:30 PM (PT)
Drummer DENNIS DAVIS, who performed on several of DAVID BOWIE's most innovative albums, has died after a battle with cancer, ROLLING STONE reports.
Born and raised in MANHATTAN, DAVIS was taught how to play drums from jazz greats MAX ROACH and ELVIN JONES. He started professionally with the CLARK TERRY BIG BAND in 1967, but was drafted and served in VIETNAM, where he performed in the U.S. NAVY's Drum and Bugle Corps. He was also wounded in combat.
In his FACEBOOK post producer TONY VISCONTI recalled, "He was one of the most creative drummers I have ever worked with. He came into DAVID BOWIE's life when we recorded some extra tracks for Young Americans and stayed with us through Scary Monsters and beyond. He was a disciplined jazz drummer who tore into Rock with a Jazz sensibility. Listen to the drum breaks on 'Black Out' from the Heroes album. He had a conga drum as part of his set up and he made it sound like two musicians were playing drums and congas. By Scary Monsters he was playing parts that were unthinkable but they fit in so perfectly. His sense of humor was wonderful. As an ex-member of the US AIR FORCE he told us stories of seeing a crashed UFO first hand by accidentally walking through an unauthorized hanger. There will never be another drummer, human being and friend like DENNIS, a magical man."
DAVIS also played with ROY AYERS, GEORGE BENSON, RONNIE FOSTER and STEVIE WONDER. On his FACEBOOK page, DAVIS noted that he was finishing his first solo album, The Groovemaster.