One of the most-called session men of his day, the Comanche/Kiowa tribal guitarist/pianist Jesse Ed Davis was born on this day in 1944. His father Jesse was a well-known "True Indian" painter. The younger Davis got his musical career started in his native Oklahoma in a band in the late '50s with future Blood Sweat & Tears vocalist Jerry Fisher. In the mid-'60s he went on the road as a member of Conway Twitty's band before settling in California.
Through friends Leon Russell and Levon Helm he got acquainted with the studio scene and started working as a session man/secret weapon. He joined Taj Mahal's band from about '68-71 and was a member of Asylum Choir along with Russell and MG's bassist Duck Dunn. With his diverse abilities with slide guitar, blues, rock, country, jazz and more he continued session work for Albert King, Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, Willie Nelson, most of the ex-Beatles, The Faces, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, Steve Miller, Jackson Browne, Neil Diamond, Leonard Cohen (also born on this day) and many others. He was featured prominently on John Lennon's albums, as well as producing ex-Byrd Gene Clark.
Davis himself made a few well-regarded albums in the early '70s that featured guests like Clapton and Russell. He cut a collaboration with John Trudell in the Graffiti Band in the '80s. But the drugs that plagued him for many years finally took him away at only 43.