Chicago Mess Around

Johnny Dodds

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Chicago Mess Around Review

by Scott Yanow

This out-of-print Milestone LP has excellent performances featuring clarinetist Johnny Dodds with Jimmy Blythe's Washboard Ragamuffins, Blind Blake, Tiny Parham, Lovie Austin's Blues Serenaders, the Dixieland Thumpers and the Paramount Pickers. The music has since been reissued on CD but these selections are generally among the great clarinetist's lesser-known recordings of the 1920s. In the supporting cast on some numbers are pianists Blythe, Parham and Austin, the washboard of W.E. Burton, trumpeter Tommy Ladnier, cornetist Natty Dominique and brother Baby Dodds on drums. The extensive liner notes by Johnny Dodds II in 1969 are particularly interesting.