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The Best of Johnny Dodds

Johnny Dodds

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Album Review

This double LP from French RCA cannot be improved upon, for it has all of clarinetist Johnny Dodds' recordings for Victor, including alternate takes; if only its domestic counterpart cared enough to release these sessions complete on CD. The classic clarinetist is featured as a sideman with the spirited Dixieland Jug Blowers, Jelly Roll Morton's Trio (famous versions of "Wolverine Blues" and "Mr. Jelly Lord" that also include drummer Baby Dodds), and on blues singer Sippie Wallace's famous "I'm a Mighty Tight Woman." In addition, Dodds is featured as the leader of various small groups ranging from trios to sextet with cornetist Natty Dominique and trombonist Honore Dutrey. Highlights include "Blue Clarinet Stomp," "Bull Fiddle Blues," and "Too Tight." Essential music for 1920s collectors, although this two-fer will be difficult to locate.


Born: 12 April 1892 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s

One of the all-time great clarinetists and arguably the most significant of the 1920s, Johnny Dodds (whose younger brother Baby Dodds was among the first important drummers) had a memorable tone in both the lower and upper registers, was a superb blues player, and held his own with Louis Armstrong (no mean feat) on his classic Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings. He did not start on clarinet until he was 17 but caught on fast, being mostly self-taught. Dodds was with Kid Ory's band during most of 1912-1919,...
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The Best of Johnny Dodds, Johnny Dodds
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