This 1988 Ace LP compiled some of Maxwell Davis’ performances for the Modern label. It was beautifully presented in a gatefold sleeve with notes by Ray Topping. I’ve included the full sleeve in the download plus Joan’s scan of a rare 1956 (reissue of a 1954 10 inch album) Maxwell Davis LP on Aladdin. See here for the 1980's reissue of Maxwell Davis and his Tenor Sax.
Maxwell Davis was a true unsung hero of R&B. Tenor sax player, bandleader, arranger and producer, he worked for several Los Angeles labels, most notably Aladdin, in the 1940s and 1950s. The sleeve notes include a list of many of the R&B hits which he arranged, directed or played on. The artists on this list include Amos Milburn, Charles Brown, Floyd Dixon, Percy Mayfield, Etta James and B.B. King.
The music here includes sides from a series of recording dates with Gene Phillips in 1947/48: “Flying Home”, “Royal Boogie” and “Gene Jumps the Blues”. The version of “Flying Home” starts with a recreation of Illinois Jacquet’s solo on the 1942 hit version for Lionel Hampton and then builds on that solo. The Lloyd Glenn & His All Stars track is from a live concert. Maxwell recorded some sides for Modern in 1950 including “Boogie Cocktails” and “Bristol Drive”. The very cool “Bluesville” and “Thunderbird” date from 1954. Every track here is an instrumental and the styles covered include jazzy R&B and rock ‘n’ roll.
Ripped from vinyl at 320kbps. Password = greaseyspoon. Thanks to Joan for the vintage cover scan.
Download from here:
1. Boogie Cocktails / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
2. Bristol Drive / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
3. Flying Home / Gene Phillips & His Orchestra
4. Royal Boogie / Gene Phillips & His Rhythm Aces
5. Resistor / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
6. Belmont Special / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
7. Jumpin' With Lloyd / Lloyd Glenn & His All Stars
8. Thunderbird / Maxwell Davis & His Rock'n'Roll Orchestra
9. Cool Diggin' / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
10. Bluesville / Maxwell Davis & His Rock'n'Roll Orchestra
11. Rocking With Maxie / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
12. Tempo Rock / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
13. Gene Jumps The Blues / Gene Phillips & His Rhythm Aces
14. Boogie Cocktails / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
There is no direct equivalent of this collection on current issue from Ace, but if you like what you hear then you could purchase the two Gene Phillips CDs currently available from Ace: “Swinging the Blues” and “Drinkin’ and Stinkin’” which feature Maxwell Davis on some tracks. Ace own the Modern back catalogue and have a variety of CDs featuring West Coast R&B, notably the “Mellow Cats ‘n’ Kittens” series which goes into the late 1940s jump blues scene to a depth which borders on the obsessive. Great music though.
Released in November 2011 - Wailin' Daddy: The Best Of Maxwell Davis (Fantastic Voyage FVTD130)
Full review can be read here.