A top rate player, Art Davis has attained as much acclaim within the jazz community for his work as an educator and teacher as he has for his talents as a bassist. Davis came to the bass late; he studied piano and tuba first, winning a national competition as a tub player before starting on bass in 1951. He played with Max Roach in 1958 and 1959, then toured Europe with Dizzy Gillespie in 1959 and 1960. David was extremely busy in the early '60s; He recorded and played with John Coltrane in 1961 and in 1965, and was featured in the bands of Gigi Gryce, Lena Horne, Booker Little, Quincy Jones, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Oliver Nelson, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry and Art Blakey at various times. In addition, Davis was a member of the NBC, CBS and Westinghouse television orchestras between 1962 and 1970. His teaching career began to expand in the '70s. Davis taught at Manhattan Community College from 1971-1973. He earned a BA from Hunter College in 1972, MA degrees from SUNY and New York University in music and psychology in 1976 and a doctorate in psychology in 1981. Davis has since combined being a psychologist with playing music, doing sessions, playing in a duo with Hilton Ruiz in 1985 and 1986, and recording as a leader in 1980 (for Interplay) and 1985 (Soul Note).