Quite recently I finally picked up a copy of David T Walker’s very nice record Plum Happy. After doing just a small research on the man, I found out he played on a crazy lot of other good records. He played on over 2500 records. Basically that means that if you’d record for a different album every day of the week, it would take you at least seven years to achieve this. Marvin Gaye, Crusaders, David Axelrod, Nolan Porter, Stevie Wonder, Donald Byrd, Carole King, Odyssey, Jackson 5, Merry Clayton, Leon Haywood, Blue Mitchell, Gene Harris, I could go on forever, but these are to name but a few artists David has played for. David was so kind to answer some questions for me, hear him out.
What music where you into as a youngster, what are your first musical memories?
I heard & felt deeply Gospel, Blues and Chants from Native Americans. I heard them in person, from the radio, jukeboxes and some records.
I read somewhere you played saxophone at first, what/who encouraged you to pick up the guitar?
Yes, I did play the saxophone in the elementary school and continued playing it until middle school. Then, at age 16, I switched to the guitar because it was a common and available instrument. I also thought it was closer to the human voice. I started saying many years ago that the guitar is my voice.
What’s the first record you ever played on?
A soulful local organist in L.A. Also a group from high school called Kinfolks which I belonged to.
What do you consider your favorite solo album and what other record you played on do you cherish the most (you can also name a few since there are so many)?
It’s hard to choose a favorite one, but if I had to say, I would choose “David T. Walker” because I got many of my friends together on that album. I truly enjoyed working on it.
If your house was to suddenly be on fire and you could escape to safety bringing only one record, which one would that be?
I would choose John Coltrane’s “Love Supreme”.
Your music has been sampled a lot. As well your solo stuff as your licks on other artists’ albums, like Tupac’s Dear Mama sampled your guitar from Joe Sample’s In All My Wildest Dreams. What are your thoughts on the sampling industry? Do you consider it an hommage or rather theft?
In the beginning, I didn’t care for it so much because they didn’t give credits to the original artists nor monetary payment. Now I see more respect for the original artists in that sense. I also see it now it as a compliment.
Which track that has sampled your work do you fave?
I like the feeling of Tupac’s “Dear Mama” and A Tribe Called Quest’s “God Lives Through”.
What project are you currently working on?
Currently, I am practicing and trying to maintain my touch and connection between my brain/spirit and the guitar.