This drummer is associated with the West Coast jazz scene, in particular as a '50s associate of the wonderful arranger and multi-instrumentalist Buddy Collette. Bill Dolney's professional presence in Los Angeles dates back as far as 1949, when he both joined up and headed west with bandleader Alvino Rey, father of the hardboiled actor of the same name. Prior to that the drummer had been living in New York City, undertaking a rigorous percussion discipline course with the noted Henry Adler. Adler's emphasis on achieving a superior tone with a restrained amount of bombast led Dolney to admire players in modern jazz who achieved perfection in this regard, such as bebop percussion master Kenny Clarke.
Alto saxophonist and bandleader Charlie Barnet was the first in a series of fine collaborators for the drummer once he was out of the Rey band. This relationship began in the summer of 1952 but has not resulted in recorded documentation, something that might be said about a good deal of Dolney's activity considering that his discography consists of only a half-dozen sessions taped between 1956 and 1957. The drummer can be heard on a pair of obscure Jack Montrose sides from that period, including the flavorful Blues and Vanilla sessions. In addition Dolney participated in an equal amount of material with Collette, originally pressed by labels fairly obsessed with West Coast jazz, Contemporary and ABC-Paramount.