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The Many Faces of Dorothy Donegan

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Album Review

Dorothy Donegan was one of the most exciting of all jazz pianists, a virtuoso who could seemingly play anything she thought of on a moment's notice. She never achieved all that much fame, partly because she recorded so rarely during the 1950s, '60s, and early '70s before she was finally discovered. This CD has nine songs from a French studio date originally released on the Mahogany label in a trio with bassist Arvell Shaw and drummer Panama Francis. Highlights along the way include a very heated version of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," the lengthy "Donegan's Blues," and a very eccentric version of Beethoven's Minuet in G. This set gives one a good sampling of Donegan's playing just before she finally began to be noticed much more by the jazz world.


Born: 06 April 1922 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

A brilliant virtuoso, Dorothy Donegan constantly switched between boogie-woogie, bop, stride, Art Tatum-style swing, and classical music, sometimes in the same chorus. In concert, she often put together spontaneous medleys of unrelated songs and was never shy to dance while she played. She studied at the Chicago Conservatory and Chicago Music College and made her recording debut in 1942. Donegan made a sensational appearance in the film Sensations of 1945 but never caught on that big despite her...
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The Many Faces of Dorothy Donegan, Dorothy Donegan
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