Dave Davani Four - The Jupe
Dave Davani (lower right)
I haven’t done a Hammond side in while, so I figured I whip something tasty out of the organs box . Dave Davani was an early-to-mid 60’s, Swinging London cat who laid down a series of heaters with groups the D-Men and the Dave Davani Four. 1965’s “The Jupe” was (as far as I’ve been able to ascertain) his sole US 45 release (it came out here in ’66), and it’s a killer. Davani’s sound was really interesting in that he came from a jazz background but obviously had a feel for R&B/soul organ (he composed/performed the original ‘Top of the Pop’s' theme). Not an organist myself, you’ll have to bear with me when I say that the “voicings” that Davani was using (the combination of stops on the organ that a given player uses to create/modify his sound) were a lot closer to a non-R&B contemporary like Walter Wanderley (listen to Wanderley’s ‘Kee-Ka-Roo’ for reference) than they were to the greasier sound of someone like Hank Marr, Bill Doggett or even the UK players that emulated them like Georgie Fame, Artwoods-era Jon Lord or Alan Price. One wonders if the fact that Davani began his career as an accordionist had anything to do with that. Davani manages to take that jazzier sound into new places by virtue of his own style, and his backing band (whoever the guitarist is, he’s doing a fine job). In fact he does bring things to a decidedly grittier level by the middle of ‘The Jupe’ with a wild solo. Either way, the DD4 swing like sixty and it’s not hard to imagine a smoky club-full of sharply dressed Mods shaking it to Davani and combo. The instrumental recordings of the Dave Davani Four were reissued last year in the UK by Big Beat as ‘Fused: The Swinging Soul Sound of the Dave Davani Four’. The CD (which is outstanding, and features liner notes by present day West Coast Hammond wizard Nick Rossi*) included the DD4’s 1965 Parlophone LP, as well as single A’s and B’s. Aside from ‘The Jupe’, the disc includes tasty versions of Cannonball Adderly’s ‘Sack’O Woe’, an unissued cover of Booker T & The MGs ‘Boot-Leg’ and the DD4’s tribute to their home base, ‘The Crazy E’. * If Hammond grooves are your bag get yourself a copy of the new 45 by the Nick Rossi Set, “Spooky Pts 1&2” (Flare).