Davies' Blues Night featuring Barbara Morrison
Ruth Davies’ Blues Night, always one
of the most popular concerts in the
SJW festival series, is fast becoming
an annual tradition. Spanning a
career of more than 30 years, Davies’
supreme command of the blues idiom
is evidenced by her credits, playing
upright bass with such legends as
Charles Brown, John Lee Hooker, and
Etta Jones and recording with artists
including Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison,
Clark Terry, Vassar Clements, Toots
Thielemans, Elvin Bishop, Maria
Muldaur, Jackie Ryan and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. This is Ruth’s
eighth year on the Stanford Jazz
Workshop faculty. Ruth’s special guest is blues and jazz singer
Barbara Morrison, known for
her soulful renditions of jazz and blues classics.
just completed a 33 city US tour, co-headlining an all-star tribute
to composer Harold Arlen (best known for “The Wizard of Oz”),
and has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Ron Carter,
Etta James and many more. Barbara’s recent credits include “Hymns
For Peace,” recorded at the 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival with
a band featuring Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea and Herbie
In order to get to know her better,
we asked Barbara to answer a few questions. Here’s what she
had to say:
What is the first recording you
remember hearing as a child?
Lee Morgan “The Sidewinder.”
When my father would make it home with his paycheck, my Mother would
be so happy she’d put on the Sidewinder and we would get in
a circle hold hands and dance. My father was an alcoholic.
Who is your favorite jazz musician
under the age of 30?
Trumpet player Sean Jones from Youngstown, Ohio. I met him several
years ago when I was on tour with Doc Severinsen and we became friends.
I flew him to Los Angeles to be on “The Blue Lady Jazz Festival.”
What job would you have if you
weren’t a jazz musician?
I would have been a Physical Education Teacher.
What’s the strangest experience
you’ve ever had on the bandstand?
When I first started singing, I had a tenor player named John Lemon
chase me off the bandstand because I sang a wrong note in the bridge
of “God Bless The Child.” I ran out the door and down
the street until I ditched him.
What’s the last book you’ve
Women Who Run With The Wolves.
If you could play with any other
musician, living or dead (with whom you have not played), who would
it be and why?
I would have loved to play with my uncle Eli “Lucky” Thompson.
He was in my family and I never got to meet him before he died last
year. I didn’t know I had Royalty in my family. I also had
Erroll Garner in my family on my mother’s side.
What’s your favorite tune?
“Never Let Me Go” by Ray Evans. He was a dear friend who passed
away last year. He also wrote “Silver Bells” and “Que Sera
Who is your greatest musical
Phil Wright, pianist with Nancy Wilson, Lou Rawls and Billy Stewart.
How much do you practice each
Everyday, at least 1 hour.
What hobbies do you have?
I like Tennis and Golf, but I like reading the most.
If you could be any other type
of artist other than a jazz musician, what would you be and why?
My forte is the Blues and I would love to play classical guitar.
When did you become interested
in music, and what circumstances or events led to your becoming
a professional musician?
I think I was born into the business. My father was a great musician
and I don’t know anything else.
To find out more about Barbara, go to barbaramorrison.com