Illinois Jacquet - Flyin' home.
Illinois Jacquet – Flyin’ home.

NBC Radio – Stars In Jazz – Illinois Jacquet-Wild Bill Davis – August 12, 1952 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

A few notes from two pioneers out of Birdland this week. The legendary Illinois Jacquet, along with an appearance by Hammond-extraordinaire Wild Bill Davis from the Stars In Jazz series over NBC Radio in 1952.

Although they don’t appear together and there’s only 15 minutes allotted for each, the combination of the two in one sitting makes for some spirited and historic listening. Davis was one of the pioneers of the Organ in Jazz – his presence made it possible for talents such as Jimmy Smith to flourish and expand on what Davis had been promoting since his days with Louis Jordan‘s Tympani Five in the 1930s. Jacquet likewise, was a pioneer. His solo in the trademark Flyin’ Home has been recognized as the first R&B sax solo and it put an indelible stamp on the evolution of Rock n’ Roll.

Together, they were visionaries. In 1952 things were brewing – but it was also a time for big changes in the realm of Jazz – small groups were dominating the scene and ideas were expanding; things were branching out. On the one hand you had Bop and on the other hand you had Jump Blues – two distinctly different roads, but they got started from the same place.

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