Wild Bill Davis Super Trio
Wild Bill Davis
Wild Bill Davis (November 24, 1918 in Glasgow, Missouri – August 17, 1995 in Moorestown, New Jersey) was the stage name of American jazz pianist, organist, and arranger William Strethen Davis.
Davis was born in Glasgow, Missouri. He is best known for his pioneering jazz electronic organ recordings and for his tenure with the Tympany Five, the legendary backing group for Louis Jordan. Prior to the emergence of Jimmy Smith in 1956, Davis (whom Smith had reportedly first seen playing organ in the 1930s) was the pacesetter among organists.
He originally played guitar and wrote arrangements for Milt Larkin's Texas-based big band during 1939–42, a band which also included Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, and Tom Archia on horns. After leaving the Larkin orchestra, Davis worked in Chicago as a pianist, recording with Buster Bennett in 1945. He played a crucial role as the pianist-arranger in Louis Jordan's Tympany Five (1945–47) at the peak of their success. After leaving Jordan, he returned to Chicago for a time, recording again with Buster Bennett and working with Claude McLin. After switching from piano to organ, Davis moved to the East Coast. In 1950, he began leading an influential trio of organ, guitar, and drums, which recorded for OKeh.
Davis was originally supposed to record "April in Paris" with Count Basie's Orchestra in 1955 but when he could not make the session, Basie used his arrangement for the full band and had a major hit.
In addition to working with his own groups in the 1960s, Davis made several albums with his friend Johnny Hodges, leading to tours during 1969–71 with Duke Ellington. In the 1970s he recorded for the Black & Blue Records label with a variety of swing all-stars, and he also played with Lionel Hampton, appearing at festivals through the early 1990s.
- Sweet and Hot (Riverside Records)
- 1953: On The Loose (Epic)
- 1955: Wild Bill Davis At Birdland (Columbia)with Floyd Smith(guitar), Chris Columbus(drums)
- 1958: Wild Bill Davis Swings Hit Songs From "My Fair Lady" (Everest Records) with Maurice Simon, Jo Jones, Milt Hinton
- 1959: In The Groove! (Fresh Sound, 195960) with George Clarke, Bill Jennings (guitarist), Grady Tate
- 1959: In A Mellow Tone (same)
- 1960: Dis Heah (Everest)
- 1964: Free Frantic And Funky (RCA)
- 1964: Blue Rabbit with Johnny Hodges (Verve)
- 1965: Con Soul And Sax with Johnny Hodges (RCA)
- 1965: Wings and Things with Johnny Hodges (Verve)
- 1966: Live At Count Basie's (RCA)
- 1966: In Atlantic City with Johnny Hodges (RCA)
- 1966: Midnight to Dawn (RCA)
- 1966: Flying Home (Sunset)
- 1967: Doin' His Thing (RCA)
- 1976: Live with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (Black And Blue)
- 1986: Live at Swiss Radio Studio Zürich (Jazz Connaisseur) with Clifford Scott, Dickie Thompson, Clyde Lucas
- 1986: Greatest Organ Solos Ever (Jazz Connaisseur)
- 1987: 70th/30th Anniversary Live Concert LP together with Austrian Jazz organist T.C. Pfeiler http://www.tcpfeiler.com
- 1990: That's All with Plas Johnson (Jazz Connaisseur)
With Ray Brown
- Much in Common with Milt Jackson (Verve, 1964)
With Arnett Cobb
- Blow Arnett, Blow (Prestige, 1959) - with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
With Duke Ellington
- New Orleans Suite (Atlantic, 1970)
With Sonny Stitt
- The Matadors Meet the Bull (Roulette, 1965)
- What's New!!! (Roulette, 1966)
- [Wild Bill Davis at All Music Guide Allmusic]