The commercial success of Charlie Parker's Bird With Strings sessions of 1949-1950 inspired countless jazz musicians to follow his lead and record albums with string orchestras in the 1950s and 1960s. One of them was Wild Bill Davison, who was joined by lush string orchestras on two Columbia dates: 1956's Pretty Wild (which employs Percy Faith's band) and 1957's With Strings Attached. In 2000, Arbors reissued those two albums back to back on this CD, which was long overdue because they were out of print for many years. These recordings are, for the most part, a departure from the type of hard-swinging Dixieland that Davison is best known for. Some jazz purists cried foul when Pretty Wild and With Strings Attached first came out in the late 1950s-as they saw it, jazzmen who recorded with strings were pandering to the pop market. But purists be damned; Davison's playing is simply gorgeous on lyrical versions of "Prelude to a Kiss," "Our Love Is Here to Stay," and other standards. He was a superb ballad player, and there is nothing wrong with the cornetist allowing his romantic side to prevail. This superb CD is recommended to anyone who is looking for a collection of five-star mood music.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson