9095Re: [RedHotJazz] Wild Bill Davison was Introduction
- Mar 1, 2012In case there is any doubt on the point I am not agreeing with the criticism
that Davison ³was solely Louis derived and a
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 Jazz 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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