Movie producers and sync rights specialists take note! There is nothing quite as evocative of mid-1960s London clubland than the hip Hammond of Dave Davani. They call it mod jazz, but I think the more appropriate term here is 'jazz beat', exemplified here by the fabulous lead cut Top Of The Pops, the original theme to the BBC show we all know and hate, and a guaranteed floor-filler at any modernist event you might hear it. Dave himself preferred the tag the sound of swinging soul", during his 1960s heyday as one of Britain's premier jazz organists."
Less flashy than Brian Auger, not as pop-orientated as Georgie Fame, or as silly as Zoot, Dave Davani and his band parlayed an accomplished, insistent groove that went down a storm at the legendary niteries of Swinging London, like the Flamingo, the Ricky Tick or even Dave's own base of operations, the Crazy 'E'. The band leader went primarily for the heavy R&B flavour of jazzers like Big John Patton and Jimmy McGriff, but also expressed a preference for the Memphis funk of Booker T (as evidenced by his cool, jazzy take on Boot-Leg, intended as a single but never issued). Davani made sure to surround himself with some excellent players, and together they boil up quite a brew on standards including Milestones, The Champ and Pig Foots, as well as the organist's own superlative originals like Fused and Harlem Waltz.
Dave got to record on several occasions, initially with quasi-beat releases by the 'D'-Men, and later, in 1965-66, more straight ahead mod sounds as the Dave Davani Four. With this release, we showcase Dave's instrumental talents, with a collection based around his rare 1965 Parlophone LP FUSED! plus the vocal-less sides from the Four's three attendant singles. There's also the bonus of four unreleased cuts from Mister D's vaults, including the aforementioned 'Boot-Leg', as well as detailed sleeve notes from Nick Rossi, himself a current ace face on the Hammond. Fused! The Swinging Soul Sound Of Dave Davani pays tribute then to an unheralded but exceedingly hip purveyor of the organ in British jazz.
By Alec Palao