From the Record Shelves #174

Joe Turner Blues

LP Ace of Hearts AH 169

This is another lucky day, starting with the big round sound from the great Johnny Dodds’ clarinet coming out of the speakers. In 1927, “Johnny Dodds’ Black Bottom Stompers” made an attempt to revive the two-cornet sound of “King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band.” Though the team of Oliver and Louis Armstrong remains unsurpassed because there is spontaneity and variation in their playing, not to mention the swing, I also enjoy hearing another brassy sound with a fiery edge to it. The two cornet players are Natty Dominique, who played with Dodds at “Kelly’s Stable,” and George Mitchell of “Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers” fame.

To match a duo like that, you need to be a strong clarinet player, and Johnny Dodds was the right man for that assignment. His trademarks, the glissandi, and the blues intonation are apparent in his breaks and his two 12-bar choruses.

There have been doubts about the identity of the trombone player in the past, but at the time of this LP release, it seems to be generally agreed that it is John Thomas who also played on the Hot Seven sessions with Louis Armstrong.

The rhythm section consists of Charlie Alexander, piano; Bud Scott, banjo and Baby Dodds on drums.

Even if it may be from a traditional folk music source, the tune is attributed to W.C. Handy.