The Commodore Master Takes
This CD features the kind of straight-ahead traditional jazz that drew patrons to Nick's and Eddie Condon's bars decades ago. Most of the tunes here are standard-repertoire Dixieland warhorses and Davison and his cohorts play them exuberantly. In the 1950s Davison gained more attention as a regular performer at Condon's, but he never played better than on these 1943-6 sides.
Wild Bill certainly sets the mood with his fat-toned, extroverted solo and lead work. Not the most original trumpeter in the world, he was among the hardest working, and the buoyancy of his playing spread to other members of his groups, a pretty distinguished lot here, including clarinetists Pee Wee Russell, Edmond Hall and Albert Nicholas and trombonists George Brunies and Lou McGarity. They give us honest, no-frills performances.