160

Wild Bill Davis: The Everest Years

By

Sign in to view read count
Wild Bill Davis: The Everest Years
This CD is an extraordinary sampling of the antics of Wild Bill Davis on the Hammond B-3 organ, as collected from five albums on the Everest label. With all of the renewed interest in jazz organ lately—Tori Amos listening to vintage Jimmy Smith sessions, etc.—this is a timely reissue. With due respect to Jimmy Smith, Davis might be the more tasteful and entertaining organist of the two. He seems less prone to the cliches that have sometimes littered Smith's looser recording sessions.

These 25 selections, many with Grady Tate on drums, George Clark on tenor sax, and a variety of accomplished guitarists, very much have the boisterous and happy spirits you'd associate with Louis Jordan's "jump blues" bands and Fats Waller (whose organ recordings are often forgotten). The sheer devil-may-care abandon of "Flying Home" and Dis Heah" are wonderful showcases of how Davis played the organ with symphonic richness and a fair amount of invention within the convention of R&B flavored, mainstream '50s jazz. And while the up-tempo numbers find him as rowdy as one would expect, I was pleased and surprised by the moody recasting of Monk's "'Round Midnight" and a ravishing Afro-Cuban original, "Cubato," that made me wish Davis and Santana had recorded a jam together.

Some of the material taken from the Broadway musical Milk and Honey is pretty slight, and even the funk Davis tries to inject into it goes nowhere. It would take perhaps a Don Byron to turn this smaltz into quasi-klezmer in order to salvage it. But apart from these few numbers, this is a winning collection for jazz organ fans, or for those who like jazz to party by.

Track Listing

The Madison Time (Part II); Blue Skies; Soft Winds; Organ Grinder's Swing; Flying Home; Independence Hora; I Will Follow You; That Was Yesterday; Milk & Honey; Let's Not Waste A Moment; Dis Heah; Angel Eyes; What's New; Like Young; Wenkie; 'Round Midnight; Blues for Joe; Cubato; and more.

Personnel

Wild Bill Davis: organ; George Clark, Maurice Simon: tenor sax; Grady Tate, Jo Jones: drums; Calvin Newborn, Bill Jennings, Les Spann: guitar; Milt Hilton: bass.

Album information

Title: The Everest Years | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Empire Musicwerks

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane
Read Rah! Rah!
Rah! Rah!
The Claire Daly Band
Read Artlessly Falling
Artlessly Falling
Mary Halvorson's Code Girl
Read Hi-Fly
Hi-Fly
Howard University Jazz Ensemble
Read And Then It Rained
And Then It Rained
The Michael O'Neill Quartet
Read You're It!
You're It!
The Mike Melito / Dino Losito Quartet
Read URBAN(E)
URBAN(E)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.