Saturday, August 01, 2009

Alun Davies - Daydo (1972)

Alun Davies is one of the most highly respected session guitarists in the United Kingdom. A founding member, along with childhood friend Jon Marks and Nicky Hopkins, of pop-jazz group, Sweet Tuesday, in the late-1960s, Davies made his greatest mark as accompanist for British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens from 1970 until Stevens's conversion to Islam and retirement from music in 1977. Davies subsequently collaborated with ex-Small Faces vocalist, Ronnie Lane, co-writing the opening track, "One Step", and a second tune, "She's Leaving", on Lane's 1979 album, See Me.

Davies launched his musical career with a duo that he shared with Marks (then known as: Michael Burchell) in 1963. The duo's sole album, Relax Your Mind, was produced by American producer Shel Talmy, best known for his work with the Who, the Kinks, Manfred Mann, Chad and Jeremy and Ralph McTell. After busking in Paris and the south of France, in 1964, the two musicians returned to England and signed with an agent, who secured them a gig on a Cunard Line ship.

After sixteen voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, Davies and Mark went their separate ways. Davies, who had gone on to work as a session musician for Fontana Records and tour with Marianne Faithful, Spencer Davis and Jeremy Taylor, reunited with Mark to form Sweet Tuesday in 1968. Although they recorded one memorable album, the group disbanded after Fontana declared bankruptcy and went out of business.

Returning to session work, Davies was recruited to perform on Cat Stevens's album, Mona Bone Jakon, in 1970. The session proved so successful that Stevens invited Davies to join him on tour following the recording of his groundbreaking album, Tea For The Tillerman.

Davies's involvement with Stevens was reciprocated when he recorded his debut solo album, Waste Of Time in 1972. The album, which showcased seven tunes written or co-written by Davies, featured Stevens on piano and was co-produced by Stevens and Paul Samwell Smith. Davies's second solo effort, Daydo followed two years later.

- Craig Harris, All Music Guide

Alun Davies' only solo album as of 2008 was Daydo, released in 1972. Much of the material was written as early as 1970, but this was just prior to Davies' introduction, backup work, and devoted friendship with Cat Stevens. With the intention of releasing the material as soon as possible, Davies bemoaned the fact that he had so little time to debut his own work, but stated that he had no regrets. The LP at last was released in the summer of 1972. An editorial appears on the sleeve of the LP from Jon Mark, of Sweet Thursday, and the Mark-Almond Band. Taken from here

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