Walley's jazz night kicks off Thursday

David Walley's Restaurant is now featuring live jazz every Thursday night, starting this Thursday. From 5:30-9 p.m. the Red Davidson Trio will bring their blend of mainstream jazz to Walley's Hot Springs Resort, 2001 Foothill Road, Genoa.

Bandleader Red Davidson's career path started in his teens back in New York, where he graduated from the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (the school featured in the movie "Fame"). After that, the path wandered for a while through Juilliard and the New York jazz scene before abruptly transporting him to the jungles of Viet Nam, playing in the Army Band. After returning to the states, he became interested in recording engineering, working at the Record Plant in Sausalito, where he focused on recording the music of others, including Earth, Wind & Fire and the Grateful Dead. Over the years, however, he continued to nurture his love for piano jazz, even in the Nevada high desert town of Virginia City, where he moved in the 1990s.

Tim Goldsmith, the bassist and vocalist of the group, was raised in a recording studio. His father was a radio and recording engineer and he played on the living room floor while Jesse "The Lone Cat" Fuller, the Oakland bluesman, first recorded his classic, "San Francisco Bay Blues."

"Being surrounded at such a young age by folk artists and blues musicians, has definitely had an impact on how I play," Goldsmith said. "My dad never recorded jazz. But the music that he did record is the very taproot of jazz. It's what makes jazz hang together. Whenever I start to get too esoteric or intellectual in my approach, I just think of Jesse. He always kept it simple, honest and powerful. Now, that's what I try to do as a bassist, too."

Herbie Weihskopf, the trio's percussionist, is steeped in Latin, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Swing rhythms. A veteran of the Los Angeles jazz scene, he was the catalyst that brought the group together in the mid-1990s.

The trio plays a wide variety of jazz styles, from the swingy bounce of Gerry Mulligan's "Bernie's Tune," to the darkly ethereal "Footprints" by Wayne Shorter, hitting such classics as the funky-as-chitlins-and poke-salad "Back to the Chicken Shack" and the romantic tenderness of Nat King Cole's "That's All" along the way. To add still more spice to the mix, Goldsmith steps out front as a vocalist every three or four tunes with a voice that has been described as "the aural equivalent of warm, smoky cognac." That's topped off with some Brazilian samba, and a pinch of hot Latin salsa and a dash of originals.

For more information, call Walley's Resort at 782-8155, ext. 8953.


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