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9095Re: [RedHotJazz] Wild Bill Davison was Introduction

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  • Howard Rye
    Mar 1, 2012
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      In case there is any doubt on the point I am not agreeing with the criticism
      that Davison ³was solely Louis derived and a
      plagiarist.²

      It isn¹t his fault that record producers of the 1940s cast him into the
      ³unpolluted imitation 1928 Armstrong² straitjacket. As a professional
      musician trying to make a living he no doubt accepted the gigs he was
      offered and tried conscientiously to play what he was being paid to play.
      The only jazz musicians who ever had the luxury of doing anything else are
      revivalist semi-pros. The result was that he came to spoil the records of
      musicians who functioned in that vocabulary far better than he did and laid
      himself open to the kind of comment quoted from the 1959 ŒJazz On Record¹.

      It does seem to be the case that earlier critics that one would have
      expected to have understood this preferred to ignore Davison altogether.
      John Chilton¹s Grove entry very much redresses the balance and (rightly I
      think) notes only Beiderbecke as a formative influence ³but he soon
      developed a highly individual, robust style.² Chilton also notes his
      ostracism from the Chicago mob during his 30s exile in Milwaukee, consequent
      on being held responsible for the death of Frank Techemacher, which must
      have assisted the development of an independent style.

      The only mystery in all this is just how he came to represent ³unpolluted
      imitation 1928 Armstrong² to the record producers, and why they did not
      import from Chicago any of the several trunpeters still working there who
      could have done that job so much better. I suppose I have just answered my
      own question there. Good enough for jazz.





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