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The Everest Years

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Album Review

Before Jimmy Smith became the dominant force of the jazz organ, Wild Bill Davis was a major influence. Davis emulated a swinging big band (specifically Count Basie's) in his playing, and his music was accessible, melodic, bluesy, and swinging. He recorded five albums for the Everest label during 1959-1961 and five selections apiece from each of the LPs are included on this single CD. Davis' organ-guitar-drums trio was augmented for these dates by a horn (either tenor saxophonist George Clark, trumpeter Charlie Shavers, or Maurice Simon on tenor) plus, on one set, bassist Milt Hinton. The horn players fare well but Wild Bill Davis is the dominant force throughout and is heard in prime form during the very likable performances, which serve as a strong introduction to his playing.


Born: November 24, 1918 in Glasgow, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

With the dynamic, swirling sounds of his Hammond B-3 organ, Wild Bill Davis provided a bridge from the big band swing of the 1930s and '40s to the organ-driven R&B of the 1950s and early '60s. Together with guitarist Floyd Smith and drummer Chris Columbus, Davis set the framework for the jazz organ combo sound. Initially a guitarist, Davis made his debut with Milt Larkin's band in 1939. The group is remembered for the double-saxophone attack of Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Arnett Cobb. Davis, who...
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The Everest Years, Wild Bill Davis
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