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Wild Bill Davis

With the dynamic, swirling sounds of his Hammond B-3 organ, Wild Bill Davis provided a bridge from the big band swing of the 1930s and '40s to the organ-driven R&B of the 1950s and early '60s. Together with guitarist Floyd Smith and drummer Chris Columbus, Davis set the framework for the jazz organ combo sound. Initially a guitarist, Davis made his debut with Milt Larkin's band in 1939. The group is remembered for the double-saxophone attack of Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Arnett Cobb. Davis, who was inspired by the guitar playing of Freddie Green, remained with the band until 1942. Moving to the piano, Davis joined Louis Jordan & His Tympany 5 in 1945. By then, he had already attracted attention as a skilled writer and arranger. He later furnished original material and arrangements for both Duke Ellington and Count Basie. He was scheduled to record his arrangement of "April in Paris" with the Count Basie Orchestra in 1955, but was unable to make it to the recording sessions. Recorded without his participation, the tune went on to be a Top 30 pop hit. Intrigued by the organ playing of Fats Waller and Count Basie, Davis began to experiment with the Hammond B-3. He soon developed his unique approach. "I thought of (the organ) as a replacement in clubs for a big band," he said during a late-'80s interview. Although he left Jordan's band after five years to form his own trio, Davis periodically returned to play special engagements. Although eclipsed by succeeding jazz organists, including Jimmy Smith and Bill Doggett in the late '50s, and Booker T. Jones in the '60s, Davis remained active until his death from a heart attack in August 1995. His summer appearances in Atlantic City, New Jersey were an annual treat for almost three decades.

A native of Moorestown, New Jersey, Davis studied music at Tuskegee University and Wiley College in Texas. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Live at Count Basie's

1. Opening (Live)

2. Impulsion (Live)

3. Stolen Sweets (Live)

4. On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever) (Live)

5. Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado) (Live)

6. Bernie's Tune (Live)

7. Organic (Live)

8. The Shadow of Your Smile (Live)

9. Low Bottom No.2 (Live)

10. This Is All I Ask (Live)

11. The Trolley Song (Live)

12. Closing Theme (April in Paris) (Live)

x

Track List: The Ultimate Collection

1. The Nearness Of You

2. Angel Eyes

3. You Did It

4. Let's Not Waste A Moment

5. Organ Grinder's Swing

6. Satin Doll

7. I've Got The World On A String

8. Ebb Tide

9. I Will Follow You

10. Blues For Joe

11. St. Louis Blues

12. It's All Right With Me

13. On The Street Where You Live

14. Soft Winds

15. In A Mellow Tone

16. Cabato

17. Show Me

18. Flying Home

19. The Madison Time (Part 1)

20. The Madison Time (Part 2)

21. Always

22. Intermission Riff

23. 'Round Midnight

24. Just You Wait

25. Jo-Do

26. That Was Yesterday

27. What's New

28. I Want A Little Girl

29. Theme From Mr. Lucky

30. Dis Heah (This Here)

31. Independence Hora

32. Smooth Sailing

33. Cherokee

34. Like Young Lovers Do

35. Blue Skies

36. Low Bottom

37. Milk & Honey

38. Rain In Spain

39. But Not For Me

40. Wenkie

x

Track List: The Everest Years

1. The Madison Time (Part II)

2. Blue Skies

3. Soft Winds

4. Organ Grinder's Swing

5. Flying Home

6. Independence Hora

7. I Will Follow You

8. That Was Yesterday

9. Milk & Honey

10. Let's Not Waste A Moment

11. Dis Heah

12. Angel Eyes

13. What's Now

14. Like Young

15. Wenkie

16. 'Round Midnight

17. Blues For Joe

18. Cabato

19. The Nearness Of You

20. I Want A Little Girl

21. Show Me

22. On The Street Where You live

23. Just You Wait

24. You Did It

25. Rain In Spain

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Still feel the same way today...2016 . . . m m m m m GREAT!
Report as inappropriate
Heavy, heavy, heavy....goo d !
Report as inappropriate
bunny.walker
Heard him when I was a young teen in Atlantic City where my grandparents an some cousins lived.
Report as inappropriate
samw688
Amen.Nothing more to say.

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