All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Wild Bill Davison

Wild Bill Davison

Like a select group of other jazz instrumentalists, cornetist Wild Bill Davison had a talent that lives on long after his death. More than a decade after Davison died at the age of 83, record companies continue to reissue some of the more than 800 songs he recorded during his 70-year career. Jazz aficionados never tire of talking about some of the more memorable engagements played by the colorful Davison around the world.

Davison did not come by his lifelong nickname accidentally. He was a heavy drinker beginning in his teens and was known as a womanizer. Davison went through four wives before he finally got the knack of married life, settling down to a relatively monogamous relationship with his fifth wife--and love of his life--Anne Stewart. Heavy drinking and womanizing were the two most obvious characteristics that made Davison truly wild. He also enjoyed a reputation for playful antics and kleptomania as well.

In fact, given his wild streak, it's particularly amazing that Davison was a musician of such memorable ability. Beginning in childhood, he had displayed an unfailing ability to commit to memory every song he heard, and his natural ear for pitch amazed even his fellow musicians. It's equally amazing that even with a life of such excesses, Davison retained his musical abilities until the very end of his life. He practiced daily into his 80s and spent the final two decades of his life playing concert dates in Europe, where his music was extraordinarily popular.

Read more
Album Reviews
Getting Into Jazz
Album Reviews
Read more articles

Photos (4) Slideshow

Discography

The Danish Sessions

The Danish Sessions

Storyville Records
2017

buy
The Jazz Giants

The Jazz Giants

Delmark Records
2015

buy
 

In Copenhagen

Sound Triangle Records
2008

buy
Wild Bill Davidson

Wild Bill Davidson

Unknown label
2007

buy

Videos

Similar

Sidney Bechet Sidney Bechet
saxophone, soprano
Kid Ory Kid Ory
trombone
Artie Shaw Artie Shaw
clarinet
Benny Carter Benny Carter
saxophone, alto
Chris Barber Chris Barber
trombone
Buck Clayton Buck Clayton
trumpet
Jack Teagarden Jack Teagarden
trombone