Baby Dodds

Jazz à la Creole: The Baby Dodds Trio

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Although he receives first billing on this LP, drummer Baby Dodds is only on five of the 11 selections. However these titles (three of which have Dodds in a trio with clarinetist Albert Nicholas and pianist Don Ewell while "Manhattan Stomp" is a feature for Ewell's fine stride piano) are historic. The two "Drum Improvisations" from 1946 were among the very first unaccompanied jazz drum solos ever recorded, and they really display Baby Dodds' colorful technique at its best. Four other songs on the album are from 1947 and feature Nicholas' clarinet in a quartet with pianist James P. Johnson, banjoist Danny Barker and bassist Pops Foster (with vocals in Creole by Barker and Nicholas) while the remaining number, "Danny's Banjo Blues," showcases Barker's solo playing in 1951. These unusual recordings, originally made for Rudi Blesh's Circle label, are highly recommended to New Orleans jazz collectors.