Without rival, cornetist Wild Bill Davison was the most obstreperous, foul-mouthed, hard-drinking jazzman to emerge unscathed from Al Capone’s Chicago. A contemporary and close buddy of both Bix Beiderbecke and Frank Teschemacher in the 1920s and a somewhat later firebrand of the Eddie Condon gang, by the early ’40s Bill had established himself as the new messiah. Even in a generation of battle-scarred individualists, Bill stood unique among his peers. Though born of equal parts Bix and Louis, and forged at the hottest anvil in the midwest, Bill’s style was something entirely his own, a sound once heard never forgotten. At one with his infinitely mercurial personality, it was both belligerent and tender, raucous and ruminative, diabolical and divine-and often within the compass of a single chorus.
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