Garden Gig’s for Pleasure, All That Jazz Is ‘Balance’

Times Staff Writer

Arthur Davis is truly a man for all seasons--and seasonings too.

An internationally known musician, the Costa Mesa resident is also a clinical psychologist, gardener and a cook of such talents as to have earned praise in the New York Times from Craig Claiborne himself, even though Davis refused to share some “family secret recipes” with the writer.

“My life is in balance,” says Davis, who also teaches at Cal State Fullerton (ethnic studies) and Orange Coast College (music) when not dealing with patients, playing gigs or puttering in his garden.

Not only does he say his life is in balance, but it’s quieter these days with both his sons away at college, one at Stanford, the other at the University of Pennsylvania.


A graduate of Juilliard School of Music in New York City, Davis is a bass player who has performed with everyone from Judy Garland (“I was on her final tour just before she died”) to Lena Horne to the New York Philharmonic.

While music filled a great outlet for his talents, he says there was “still something missing in my life,” so he enrolled at New York University and earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Of course, he also still plays music and has his own quartet (which will be appearing in concert at Orange Coast College on Oct. 22).

If all that hasn’t left you exhausted, there’s more. He has just finished a book on his old friend, the late jazz great John Coltrane.


For just sheer pleasure, though, he relies on his garden and kitchen. Davis and his wife, Gladys, pretty much share the chores in those two areas, taking particular delight in their flourishing back-yard items that aren’t even supposed to grow in Costa Mesa (large melons, for example). They also raise all their herbs and many vegetables.

Creativity is the key to his life, says Davis, and it certainly spills over into the kitchen. A good example is the pasta salad he shared with Guys & Galleys. “It’s light, nutritious and can be used either as a side dish or as a main course with the simple addition of seafood or chicken.”

Each week, Orange County Life will feature a man who enjoys cooking and a favorite recipe. Tell us about your candidate. Write to Guys & Galleys, Orange County Life, The Times, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, Calif. 92626.




1 pound rotini noodles

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

3 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped


2 tomatoes, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 package Knorr instant leek soup

2 teaspoon salt-free seasoning


1 cup mayonnaise


Cook noodles and drain. Add all ingredients, saving mayonnaise for last. To make into a main course, add tuna, crab, chicken, turkey, shrimp or lobster. Serves 4.