May 20, 1933 – July 15, 2016
Although he has performed previously on tenor and alto, Charles Davis is best-known for his fine baritone playing, both as a soloist and for his dependable work in sax sections. Early on he gigged with Sun Ra (off and on from 1954 into the 1980s), Brother Jack McDuff, Ben Webster, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington (1957-58). Davis gained some attention when he was with Kenny Dorham’s band (1959-62). He also played with Illinois Jacquet, Lionel Hampton, the Jazz Composers’ Orchestra (1966-76), Louis Hayes’ Sextet (1972-74), Clark Terry’s big band and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. In the 1980s he was with Dameronia (1981-84), Philly Joe Jones, Barry Harris and Abdullah Ibrahim. Charles Davis has led sessions for Strata-East, West 54, Nilva, Red and L&R. — Scott Yanow, All-Music Guide