2018. március 12., hétfő

Wild Bill Davison and Classic Jazz Collegium LP 1976 Digital transfer, noise cleaning and mixed, at Audio Design Studio home sound recording studio made 2018 th.

DATA      01    02     03

Side 1

5) BLUES IN THE AIR (Bechet)
(M IIer-Cohn-Stei n-Krueger)

Side 2

11) EMPTY ARMS (Jeiek)

Arranged by

Josef Rejman (1, 4, 9, 11),
Karel Mezera (2, 6, 7, 10),
Pavel Klikar (3, 5, 8)
Lubo Zajíek (12 )
WILD BILL DAVISON - cornet (1-12) and vocal (8)

Lubo Zajíek - cornet (1, 2, 4-6, 8-12), leader
JirÍ Pechar - trumpet (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, 12)
Miloslav Havránek - trombone (1, 2, 4, 6, 8-12)
Josef Rejman - alto sax, ciarinet (1, 2, 4-6, 8-12)
Karel Mezera - tenor sax, ciarinet (1,2,4-6,8-12)
Ivor Krátky - baritone sax (9-12)
Pavel Klikar - piano, celesta (1-12)
Miroslav KIime - banjo, guitar (1-12)
Zdenék Fibrich - tuba (1, 2, 4-12)
AIes Siádek - drums (1-12)

FROM 14 TO 19 OCTOBER, 1976
Recording directors: Kvétoslav Rohieder ond Jan Hrábek
Recording engineer: Gustav Houdek
Cover design © Joska Skolník 1977
Cover photo © Frantiek Rous 1977
Liner notes © Stanislav Títzl 1977


The desire to remain “m”1 rather than economc necessity, is the prime reason why jazzmen continue to perform ‚after tlie c1stomary retirement age - and aiso the reason why tbey don’t grow old: Louis Armstrong, Duke Eilington ond Count Basie were ali active ot seventy, and their younger colleagues Benny Goodman, Woody Herman or Stan Kenton - to name but a few - show the same inciination. The same is true of cornetist Wild Bill Davison, an outstanding representative of white Dixieland, ond o no less devoted jazzman at seventy than he was when young. In 1957 he began to travel reguiarly to Europe, where jazz afficionados in twelve countries, inciuding Poland ond Czechoslovakia, have heard him live. Three years ago he settied permanently in Denmark, from where he traveis to ali points of the compass for one-nighters in clubs, to jazz festivais, or for recording sessions in gramophone studios with ounger international bands. The last such session was in October 1976 in Prague, where Wiid Biil Davison - then on a concert tour in Czechoslovakia - ond the Ciassic Jazz Collegium recorded 12 items on the Supraphon labI. A short review of Davison’s career is in order. Born at Defiance, Ohio, U. S. A., on January 5, 1906, he learned to play the horn, and recorded for the first time at the age of 19 with the Chubb-Steinberg Orchestra (many of his biographies faji to note that the band’s name was derived from two persons). In 1927 Davison moved to Chicago, where he performed as an allround free-!ancing artist, playing the vioiin, ciarinet, mellophone, cornet ond trumpet, singing witli chorus and solo, even dancing. An iniportant chapter in Davison’s iife was his own Swing Band, established in 1931, which also inciuded ciarinetist Frank teschenmacher, o representative of the Chicago jazz school. His tragic death in a car crash in 1932, when a convertible driven by Davison hit an unlighted taxi, had serious consequences: Wiid Biil Davison was wrongly deemed guiity, his band failed to survive without its two principal stars, ond Davison himself moved to Milwaukee, where he continued to perform for another ten years, albeit outside the main focus of the jazz public Unfortunately for him, this was just the time when many autstanding books on jazz were written. The evidently most important period of Davison’s activity came after 1945,
when - having returned to New York - he piayed regularly in banjoist Eddie Condon’s ciub with the latter’s bands. in the course of o decade he worked with many prominent personalities, such os the ciarinetists Edmond Hall, Pee Wee Russeil ond Peanuts Hucko, the tenor sax player Bud Freeman, the pianists Joe Suliivan ond Gene Schroeder, the trombonist Jack Teagarden, the drummer George Wettiing, ond others. Opinions on Wiid Biil Davison the performer differ - os they often do in art. For instance, the Dictionary of Jazz by the French writers Hugues Panassié and Madeleine Gautier presents the ultra-orthodox conventional view: Davison “is the archetype of the noisy ond vulgar Dixieland trumpet piayer ond his considerabie reputation must be regarded as somewhat infiated”. Berendt, on the other hand, has said that without Davison’s spontaneous and naturai expression themusic of Condon’s bands would be merely a tepid reminder of the old Chicago. And the cornetist himself remembers Louis Armstrong telling him on one occasion: “I’m happy knowing when I’m gone that you’li be here to keep on making of music.” However, the listener should be abie to arrive at his own opinion afterhearing this album, which presents Wild Biil Davison with the Classic Jazz Collegium - a remarkablePrague unit specializing in old jazz. It was established in 1975, but its members used to play for many years in the Traditional Jazz Studio of Prague, with which they toured clubs ond festivals from Finland to Italy and from the Soviet Union to Spwn. Two lines of opinion crystallized within the Traditionai Jazz Studio on its future orientation, ond one day the orchestra split into two, the majority of the performers now presenting themselves under the Ciassic Jazz Collegium vignette. It is no exaggeration to say that this solution has benefitted, rather than damaged, the Czechoslovak traditional jazz scene, since each of the two ensembies has enriched the contemporary Prague range of traditional jazz with its own special stimuli and instrumentai opproaches. Along with its three-piece bass section, which also includes the leader and cornetist Lubo Zajíek, Classic Jazz Coiiegium offers the sound of two or three reeds, plus a four-piece rhythm section, in which at ieast Zdenék Fibrich’s technicaily exceilent tuba with its warm and fiexible sound deserves special mention. While the principal attention is focused on Wild Bill Davison, his solos - except for the two compositions in which he is accompanied by the rhythm section only - are an integral part of the entire orchestra sound, along with the other, if less prominently featured, soloists - the reedmen Josef Rejman and Karel Mezera, the pianist Pavel Klikar, and others. Unlike the prevailing practice, the overall sound Is not the conventional three-part Dixieland pattern, but rather the happy sound of the larger orchestras of the late twenties. The orchestra’s repertory inciudes mostiy famous evergreens like After Vou’ve Gone, Sunday, or Blues in the Air, but even the much overplayed St. James infirmary Is pleasantly intriguing, thanks to the unconventional arrangement ond an attractive tuba solo with a finai cornet cadenza by Davison. Another remarkable thing about this album: it conciudes with two originai compositions from the period of the shaping of the history of Czech jazz, ond both go surprisingly weil with the album’s overali concept. Empty Arms was composed by the founder of Czech swing, Jaroslav Jeiek (b. 1906), an excellent (although almost blind) musician, graduate of the Prague Conservatory, ond composer of chamber pieces, jazz instrumentais, ond songs for the pre-war Liberated Theatre, which remain popular to this day. Jeiek escaped from the Nazis in 1939 to the U. S. A., where he died on January 1, 1942. Hardly any other country in Europe can boast a personality of such crucial importance and impact - Jeek’s significance for the Czech jazz tradition is comparable to that which the most famous jazz veterans have for the international scene. And the final composition, I’ii Build a Fence Around You, was written by one of the pioneers of modern Czech dance tunes in the forties, Leopold Korba, who played the piano at that time in the Karel Vlach Orchestra. This joint album by WiId Bill Davison ond Classic Jazz Collegium is only one ot the many recordings made in the past few decades by famous jazz soloists with young uropean revivalists, but its overail sound, ond above ali its pleasant, relaxed atmosphere make it more special than most.

The German critic Joachim-Ernst

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