Too often used as the hokey foil to Louis Armstrong’s genius (though not nearly as much as Hardin-Armstrong is used to embiggen Hines), clarinetist Johnny Dodds remains one of my early jazz heroes. In part because of his brilliant tone and vibrato, in another part because of the things he’s often criticized for. He’s been my main listening in the last day, and every time I put on a compilation of his 20s recordings I’m blown away by how easily he bridges jazz, blues, string band, and other genres.
“Carpet Alley Breakdown” – recorded with his Dixieland Jug Blowers.
And my favorite, which really should have been given the Hot Five treatment, “Perdido Street Blues” with the New Orleans Wanderers:
Hrm. I need to spend this afternoon with a clarinet in hand.
Just discovered yesterday, the Sweet Hollywaiians performing a stunning arrangement for strings of the Trumbauer orchestra’s instrumental recording of “Singin’ The Blues”, complete with resonator and ukulele versions of the famous Tram and Bix solos.
I think it’s time to put the mouse down and practice…