Born: November 24, 1918 | Died: 1995 Primary Instrument: Organ, Hammond B3
Wild Bill Davis was the top cat among organists prior to the rise of Jimmy Smith in 1956. He could be credited for taking the instrument from the swing era into the R&B infected jazz of the early ‘50’s, and was a pioneer in the organ trio format. He could swing like crazy, grind out dirty blues, or could play in a laid back easy listening style.
He originally played guitar and wrote arrangements for Milt Larkin's legendary band during 1939-42. Davis also played piano with Louis Jordan's Tympany Five (1945- 49) before switching to organ in 1950 and heading his own influential organ/guitar/drums trios. Together with guitarist Floyd Smith and drummer Chris Columbus, Davis set the framework for the jazz organ combo sound....