Davis studied with legendary drummers Max Roach and Elvin Jones. Called up for duty in the Vietnam War he played in the United States Navy Drum and Bugle Corp. Davis was wounded during his tour of duty. After Vietnam, Davis performed his first tour and album with jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers.
He hooked up with David Bowie for the "Young Americans" album, providing him the opportunity to play not only with Bowie but also John Lennon. World tours playing with Bowie followed and later he was involved with Bowie's legendary "Berlin Trio" of albums (Low, Heroes, Lodger).
He also did stints with George Benson and worked with Stevie Wonder in 1979 for both studio and live work. From 1991, he went full time with Roy Ayers. His first official solo album was "The Groovemaster". He has four children. Davis passed away after a battle with cancer.