An obscure pianist, Rod Rodriguez made his recording debut from 1929-30 as an ensemble player with Jelly Roll Morton, playing piano while Morton directed his larger (and often out-of-control) bands on records. Although Rodriguez would never become well-known, he played with some notable musicians throughout his surprisingly lengthy career. He worked with the big bands of Benny Carter (1932-33 including recording with Spike Hughes), Don Redman (off and on from 1938-43) and Alberto Socarras (1939). Rodriguez played with Skeets Tolbert (1943), accompanied singer Frances Brock on a European tour (1945-46) and stayed overseas for a period, working with drummer Herbert Cowens. Although he mostly worked as a music teacher in the 1950s and '60s, Rodriguez played with Louis Armstrong (subbing for Billy Kyle) in 1961 and Doc Cheatham in the mid-60s.
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