As a long-time fan of Wild Bill Davison (1906-1989), I have a nice collection of his recordings from 1927 until his very last in the 1980s. However, I have never heard these mid 1950s sessions until now. Entitled "Pretty Wild" and "With Strings Attached", these recordings were made by Columbia in 1956 and 57. Both feature Wild Bill with small groups surrounded by lush string sections. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find this 24 track CD in the mailbox.
The single day spent with Wild Bill and his wife Anne in the early 1980s has become a memorable highlight in my, otherwise normal life. The"Wild One" is not easily forgotten and Bill was a character in every way. His impish grin was always an indication that he was going to do something outlandish. Davison, like a number of other stars, was small in physical stature but a gargantuan talent. His outside interests included collections of militaria and early toy trains. Born in Defiance, Ohio in 1906, Bill was a major talent in the 1920s playing with Bennie Meroff, Frank Teschmacher and others. His rise to fame and glory was attained with the Eddie Condon and George Wettling organizations.
Nobody blows like Wild Bill Davison although many have tried. Bill was very much like a "bull in a china shop." When he broke into his guttural solos, nothing was left standing. His solo work, though seldom intricate, never failed to enhance the performance of the band whether it be a small combo or a lush orchestra as displayed in these super sessions.
The Arbors reissue shows Davison very much at home with many of the items he played with Condon including "She's Funny That Way", "When Your Lover Has Gone", "Wild Man Blues" and two pieces that Bill made his own, "Blue Again" and "Blue and Broken Hearted".
The Wild Bill Davison Memorial Association has been established in Defiance, Ohio to perpetuate his memory. The net proceeds of this recording will be contributed to that cause. This is a wonderful collection and deserves your attention. It's a major piece of jazz history.