Dorothy Donegan

Swingin' Jazz in Hi Fi

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Dorothy Donegan was a virtuoso pianist whom Art Tatum liked to take along with him to surprise unsuspecting pianists, and this studio session is typical fare, with sudden shifts in tempo and keys as her unidentified bassist and drummer do their best to keep up with her. She borrows from classical music with her uptempo "Grieg's Boogie" and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumble Bee" in "Bumble Boogie." She's much more straightforward in her relatively relaxed approach to the blues on "Things Ain't What They Used to Be." Her rapid-fire right hand in "The Sheik of Araby" directly suggests Tatum's influence, while her dancing treatment of "On Green Dolphin Street" hints at what her mentor might have done with it had he recorded it. She humorously segues into "Theme from Exodus" in the middle of "Lullaby of Birdland" in an on-the-spot arrangement that has obvious classical overtones. Released in 1963, this long out of print Regina LP will be difficult to acquire.