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Wild Bill Davis, Organ Pioneer

Craig Harris at AllMusic offers a succinct bio of Wild Bill Davis, a of the jazz organ. Davis played the Hammond B3 and, according to Harris, “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.”

The list of people he played with is impressive, even overwhelming: Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Freddie Green, Louis Jordan, Duke Ellington, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Johnny Hodges,Β  Count Basie and others.

Above is April in Paris, which Davis arranged for the Ellington band. Duke gives him an affectionate intro. Below is Joe’s Blues, the title track of a 1965 album. The album features Davis and Hodges.


Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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