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Wild Bill Davis

Wild Bill Davis was the top cat among organists prior to the rise of Jimmy Smith in 1956. He could be credited for taking the instrument from the swing era into the R&B infected jazz of the early ‘50’s, and was a pioneer in the organ trio format. He could swing like crazy, grind out dirty blues, or could play in a laid back easy listening style. He originally played guitar and wrote arrangements for Milt Larkin's legendary band during 1939-42. Davis also played piano with Louis Jordan's Tympany Five (1945- 49) before switching to organ in 1950 and heading his own influential organ/guitar/drums trios

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Back At The Chicken Shack

Read "Back At The Chicken Shack" reviewed by Thomas Fletcher

Back At The Chicken Shack celebrates 60 years since its recording date at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs. The same session produced Midnight Special (Blue Note, 1961), though Back At The Chicken Shack would have to wait three years for its release. The label's co-founder, Alfred Lion, later revealed that the healthy sales of ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Wild Bill Davis & Johnny Hodges

Wild Bill Davis & Johnny Hodges

Before Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott, Big John Patton, Jimmy McGriff, Brother Jack McDuff, Groove Holmes and all the other organists you know, there was Wild Bill Davis. Born in Missouri, Davis started his recording career in 1945 as organist and arranger for Louis Jordan and His Tympani Five, one of the leading pioneers of rhythm and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra: Rotterdam 1969

Read "Rotterdam 1969" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Here's a succulent and long-hidden treat for Duke Ellington aficionados: a wide-ranging and reasonably well-recorded concert performance by the Ellington orchestra from 1969 at the Do Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Many of Ellington's tried-and-true favorites are here, along with a number of lesser-known themes such as tenor Paul Gonsalves' feature, “Up Jump"; “Come ...

Jazz Quanta July: Larry Goldings, Sean Jones and Todd Bishop

Read "Jazz Quanta July: Larry Goldings, Sean Jones and Todd Bishop" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein, Bill Stewart Ramshackle Serenade Pirouet Records 2014 The organ trio in jazz has always been one of the more durable formats. Wild Bill Davis, John Patton, Shirley Scott, Richard “Groove" Holmes, Jimmy Smith and Larry Young have all led important trios each giving the ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Johnny Hodges and Will Bill

Johnny Hodges and Will Bill

Exceptional jazz musicians win us over with a warm tone, lyrical lines, a feel for the blues, respect for space, sheer speed or stamina—to name just a handful of winning traits. But not all exceptional jazz musicians work well together and only a bunch of couplings have produced dazzling results. Perfect partnerships that come to mind ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bob DeVos: Shadow Box

Read "Bob DeVos: Shadow Box" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

On the face of it, Shadow Box, Bob DeVos' fifth outing as a leader, is a sixty minute case study of the evolution of the organ combo, one of the music's most popular and enduring formats. DeVos tips his hat to legendary individuals (some of whom he played with in the early stages of his career) ...

NEWS: PERFORMANCE / TOUR

Philly's Tony Williams Opens Cheltenham Jazz Concert Series Wed. Oct. 2nd

Philly's Tony Williams Opens Cheltenham Jazz Concert Series Wed. Oct. 2nd

The Jazz Bridge “Neighborhood Concert Jazz Series" at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts—439 Ashbourne Road in Cheltenham—presents bebop alto saxophone icon Tony Williams on Wednesday, October 2nd. There is one show at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $10/$5 for students, and are only available at the door. For info: 215-517-8337 or visit Jazz Bridge. Tony Williams, ...

ARTICLE: WHAT IS JAZZ?

Improvising Art: From Jam Bands to Jazz

Read "Improvising Art: From Jam Bands to Jazz" reviewed by Jacob Hobson

The author Kurt Vonnegut once said, “Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow." The art of improvisation does just that: it makes the soul grow. The soul of the improvising performer is constantly stretched and twisted in search of that unnamed spiritual experience in which lasting ...

The Little and Big of Florian Ross

Read "The Little and Big of Florian Ross" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

German pianist/composer Florian Ross has been making provocative music since his early Naxos Jazz recordings. He is a rolling stone, moving from one format to the next, always bringing something new and leaving something newer. Florian Ross Elektrio Wheels and Wires Fuhrwerk- Musik 2013 The organ trio, ...


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