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Wild Bill Davison - Talk Of The Town [JCD-391] CD Review by Scott Yanow

Date Posted: 2012-08-15

One of the all-time great trad jazz/Dixieland trumpeters, Wild Bill Davison was one of its top individualists. Easily recognizable within a few notes, Davison put a great deal of personality into his playing, making many other trumpeters sound a bit bland in comparison. His well-placed high notes were full of fury, he alternated sarcasm and sentimentality in his range of emotions, and his low notes with their shakes were witty.

Fans of hard-driving Chicago jazz are always cheered when Jazzology comes out with a newly discovered Wild Bill Davison recording. Talk Of The Town is taken from a pair of jam sessions held in Atlanta in 1974. Davison leads a sextet comprised of clarinetist Jack Meheu, trombonist Skip Derringer and a rhythm section whose identity is unfortunately long lost. While Meheu is in fine form and the solo space is well distributed, Davison emerges as the dominant player during the 11 selections due to his personality and very colorful style. Even when one has a pretty good idea what he is going to play on the warhorses, Davison’s playing is a constant joy.

Whether it is “Who’s Sorry Now,” “Shine,” “Stars Fell On Alabama,” or “When You’re Smiling,” Wild Bill Davison is heard in peak form throughout Talk Of The Town, which is available from www.jazzology.com.

Scott Yanow

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