From the Record Shelves #181

Dippermouth Blues

LP Coral CP 27

The two musically sympathetic Dorsey brothers could still cooperate when these sessions were made. Both were already experienced in the jazz idiom and had a technique on their instruments that few could match. On this record they sometimes demonstrate it: Tommy with a sound in his trombone that completely fills the track of the record, and Jimmy with tricky saxophone licks that even impressed Charlie Parker.

But on this tune they concentrate on paying a detailed tribute to one of their heroes. I hope that King Oliver, down and out somewhere, heard this and that it brought a smile to his face, knowing that he was not forgotten by the musicians.

The Harvard student George Thow was much used as a trumpet soloist with different bands at this time, around 1935. Here he makes a good presentation of Oliver’s classic three choruses that were followed by the exclamation “Oh, Play That Thing!”. Likewise, Jimmy Dorsey faithfully plays the two choruses created by Johnny Dodds on the original 1923 version of the tune. And the drummer Ray McKinley also evokes the sounds of Baby Dodds with woodblocks and cymbals.

It is not only the resulting music of this recording that I like, but also the fact that they keep the old masters and their early jazz alive. Some years later, theirs and a few others contributions led to the revival of the New Orleans Jazz.