Dave Wild (aka David Wild, aka David A. Wild), born in New York City shortly after its purchase by the Dutch, has wandered about a lot, with stops in Honolulu, California, Michigan, Los Angeles and San Juan PR among other places. (We’re currently perched on the side of a rare hill in otherwise-flat Central Texas). Against all odds a Dave Wild Trio has managed to assemble and perform at each stop.
During the wanderings there were also some publications of interest (discographies, transcriptions, jazz journalism of various sorts). I acquired some academic credentials during a few of the stops (BA in English from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and an MA in English from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti MI). And of course, there’s a day job, toiling in a sunless over-airconditioned office deep within the Federal bureaucracy, knee-deep in paperclips, pried-open staples and crumpled postits (the invisible means of support for all of this). But it’s likely the casual visitor to this virtual garage is more interested in what’s inside those boxes marked JAZZ….
During our 15 years in Ann Arbor, that remarkable town west of Detroit, some equally remarkable things happened. Casual research became not-so-casual, and eventually two standard discographies were born: The Recordings of John Coltrane: A Discography – 1979, and Ornette Coleman: A Discography – 1980, with Michael Cuscuna, both essentially out-of-print. In the early seventies I began writing for Coda (out of Toronto) and a little later for downbeat (I was Detroit correspondent for that long-lived publication from 1979-1987). The Coltrane research led to liner note assignments for something like 20 John Coltrane recordings on Impulse, in its various guises (ABC-Impulse, MCA Impulse, GRP Impulse and now Verve Impulse) . The 1997assignment to do the notes for the definitive collection of Coltrane’s 1961 Village Vanguard recordings (described on my Village Vanguard page, elsewhere in this site) was especially rewarding. I can also claim two dozen or so articles in the Grove Dictionary of Jazz and an article on Coltrane’s music (1961-1967) in Carl Woideck’s anthology The John Coltrane Companion (published in 1998 by Schirmer), among other things. Currently I’m part of a group working on a second edition to Yasuhiro Fujioka’s John Coltrane discography (the first edition replaced mine as the standard in 1995), expanded to include a complete chronology, along with Fuji himself, Lewis Porter, Wolf Schmaler and Chris DeVito.
Incidentally, I don’t know enough about popular TV shows like Friends to name the characters, let alone write about them. Those books were authored by what puertoriqueÒos call un tocayo, same name different face–another Wild David, formerly an editor at Rolling Stone and currently host of the series Musicians on the Bravo cable network. If you feel like you’ve stumbled into some alternate reality (where Buddy Bolden talks to Ken Burns about Wynton Marsalis), perhaps it’s the other Wild you want. In the interest of accepting my fair share of blame, I’ve listed most of what I’ve written over the years on a separate page: Dave Wild in Print
I also play piano and occasionally soprano saxophone (best characterized by borrowing Ogden Nash’s description of the oboe, as an ill wind that nobody blows good). The Dave Wild Trio/Quartet performs, rather occasionally I’m afraid, around Waco (see the CenTex jazz page for a schedule, or look an excerpt from my Palm Pilot at Dave’s Calendar). We finished a CD last year called Wild Sides, featuring bassist/producer (and close relative) Ken Wild, plus Ralph Humphrey, drums and Larry Williams, saxophones, recorded by Gary Denton at Stagg Street Studio in Van Nuys, along with one track recorded with my Waco rhythm section of Jeff Horton, bass and Charles Burleson, drums. I’ve been contributing arrangements to the Temple Jazz Orchestra (based at Temple College in, where else, Temple), where I’ve been known to teach the odd student or two. TJO’s first CD, Soft Lights, Sweet Music, which features liner notes, a chart and the occasional piano solo by yours truly, was released early in 2001. There’s another CD, from a smoking concert by TJO and Bill Watrous, due out sometime this year. That’s usually me behind the piano in the Waco Jazz Orchestra as well. As for the eclectic sounds of Elephants Gerald, well, that’s an elephant of a completely different color…