Spirit Free – Spirit Free Plays Starship

June 5, 2007


I’ve been busy (and lazy too) that’s why it took me more than 4 months to write a new post, I’m back…
… I think.

I’ve downloaded this album last year but never listen to it.
I re-downloaded it (at 320kbps) recently (Thank you SG), listened to it and loved it!!
(Of course this means that I need a clean copy on vinyl… holler)

So I decided to share this with you, I’m sure that most of the Improvisitors will love this album.


Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of infos about this band.
They’re called Spirit Free, from Las Vegas, Nevada.
They play some dope cosmic Jazz! This LP was released on Vega Sound (Las Vegas private pressing) in 1971. N#40118.

Side 1 contains 2 long tracks from a concert at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Jazz Festival :

— 01 Isis Unveiled
— 02 Vibrations

and side 2 contains 3 songs from a studio recording.

— 03 Starship
— 04 Guardian Angel
— 05 Sprit Free

Just check it and come back w/ a feedback.

Rick Davis – Tenor Sax
Ron Feuer – Electric Piano
Santo Savino – Drums
Orlando Hernandez – Bass


16 Responses to “Spirit Free – Spirit Free Plays Starship”

  1. nick said

    dante carfagna did a little write-up of this in an old wax poetics. when I’m able to dig my copy out, I’ll post it here.

  2. bzpt said

    Yeah cool.

    The only WP I have at home is the n#1.


  3. nick said

    here’s what he has to say in wax poetics no 8. it doesn’t actually shed any light at all on the record’s circumstances, but here you go.

    “Las Vegas is hardly thought of as a destination for creative improvising musicians, but invariably you’re going to find a fiery tenor player rubbing shoulders with the magicians and lion-tamers in the lobby of the Sands, such is the demographic of the Sin City. Thoughts of Vegas tend to conjure images of buzzing electricity, hammered gamblers and tired variety shows, and one rarely considers the state of its suburban backyards or the cleanliness of its many garages. These two domestic locales are the most likely places you would that fiery tenor player and his group, Spirit Free, rehearsing or playing to a miniscule audience. It would be easy to call this type of music “spiritual” jazz, but that is a ridiculous adjective to describe any music, lest we start seeing “spiritual rock” and “spiritual folk” sections popping at our local record spot. If music rooted in sound –- forms precisely like that of jazz -– is nothing if not spiritual at its base level, why would anyone continue to play a horn or a guitar? Ah, but we are in Las Vegas and one could feasibly get a job mindlessly playing instruments behind some nameless vocalist at some nameless hotel. But saxophonist Rick Davis and electric pianist Ron Feuer would never compromise their artistic heritage to simply keep the backyard pool clean and chlorinated. The sound here is as natural as their hometown is unnatural, so it’s not debatable why this LP vanished into the sands of the Mojave. The coloring of the Century stock cover perfectly fits the hue and tone of the sounds escaping this record, but this is more an exploration of the inner space than a sojourn into the cosmos. The arid phenomenal aspects of Las Vegas certainly provided a rich numenal counterpart, but unfortunately this music was the total production of a very small minority. The intergalactic album title must be read in a much different light than the similarly named record by Starship Commander Wooooo Wooooo discussed elsewhere in this column, for Spirit Free were already emancipated from the clutch of the world and needed only their sound to manifest transportation.”

  4. pipco said

    Outstanding recording with shades of The John Payne Band and to a lesser extent, Weather Report under Wayne Shorter’s direction.

    Great blog you have here! Thanks for sharing some great finds.

  5. ash said

    all these albums are must haves, but this is one i’ve been searching for. starship track just takes you away .. this is a fine fine site. many thanks

  6. Santo Savino said

    Two of the 4 members of the Spirit Free band have passed away. Rick Davis and Orlando Hernandes are gone. Ron Feuer lives in Northridge CA. and Santo Savino still lives in Las Vegas. They still play together Quite often.

  7. Charles Termini said

    Las Vegas a desert, but not a wasteland for the sounds.

    Still remember Don Menza’s Monday Night Band at The Riviera…up-and-coming mystery novelist/UNLV English lecturer – Bill Moody – at the piano.

    This past summer, while in Las Vegas I attempted to contact [the only] William Moody in telephone directory.

    Finally made contact with an old hippy with a fondness for Pentacle.

    Thanks for this Spirit Free file. Especially saddened to realize two of them are now gone.

  8. Lynn Davis said

    I’m the widow of Rick Davis. I have a few copies of Spirit Free left, along with tons of other charts and recordings. I have to say: if any of you have recordings, please label them with personnel and tunes and dates. Your people will want that. Nobody lives forever. Rick wrote a great book about the early years, bebop, the road with big bands, and Vegas that I’m editing now…soon to be published.
    Rick liked playing with Ron, Santo and Pepito (Orlando) because he could stretch out to his heart’s desire. Sorry to hear Pepito passed too. Thanks for all the kind words.
    Ron Feuer knows how to reach me.

    • Alvin Patterson said

      Hi. I was wondering if you still have copies of the Spirit Free LP and if you are selling them? Thanks, Al.

  9. Jack Gale said

    I’m a Trombonist working in NYC since 1959 and Rick Davis was a good friend of mine growing up in Wichita Kansas. I worked with him on the road and in New York in the mid ’50s and later, spent a year with him in the 328th Army band in Brooklyn. I have a copy of Spirit Free which he gave me 40+ years ago. It’s great that you and others are appreciating Ricks marvelous musicianship today.
    I saw a message on your website from Lynn Davis (Rick’s widow). I would like to get in touch with her and see about getting a copy of Rick’s book when she finishes editing it. Could you give her my email address or send me hers? Also, my phone is 201-768-3809.

  10. […] The Intern’s Studio episode ideas with me at lunch, asking Rob on a regular basis where the Spirit Free liner notes are for *8, commenting on track sequences & artwork layouts, and juggling licensing […]

  11. max said

    good to find this place. this free spirit is really outstanding

  12. Ya Sin said

    bonjour, où peut-on télécharger tout l’album de Spirit free, merci à vous

  13. link off-line, rapidshare doesn’t work

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