From the Record Shelves #26

29th and Dearborn

EP Swaggie JCS-3375

Like another icon of early jazz, pianist Jelly Roll Morton, Johnny Dodds was unfortunate to have his life ended just before the revival took place. After leaving New Orleans to join King Oliver at 28 years of age Dodds stayed in Chicago for the rest of his life.

This recording session, probably organized by his old friend Lil Armstrong who’s on piano, was made on his only trip to New York. The year was 1938 and the music scene had changed a lot over the 7-8 years since he last recorded. But, again like Morton (in recording sessions the following year), he showed that his music making was still attractive and had an emotional depth that was uncommon at the time.

Other protagonists are Charlie Shavers on trumpet and Teddy Bunn on guitar and in the rhythm section we hear John Kirby on bass and O’Neil Spencer on drums. Johnny Dodds unique clarinet sound is very well captured in the Decca studio.