Dr. Michael White: In a Tribute to Mr. Johnny Dodds
Although not as technically adroit as other New Orleans clarinet players like Jimmie Noone or George Lewis, Dodds possessed a unique and memorable tone which White faithfully recreates. The group's rendition of "Loveless Love", which Dodds put to wax in 1927, is pure traditional jazz. The solemn trumpet of Norman Thatcher, both in solo and in unison with White's soulful clarinet, makes this cut one of the highlights of the album. There are some rarities here as well like "Melancholy", "Blue Clarinet Stomp" and "Bull Fiddle Blues", all of which Dodds wrote and for which he was virtually the only performer. Discographies reveal no other recordings of these pieces by anyone else from that period. The set includes "Wild Man Blues" which Dodds recorded with his Black Bottom Stompers and also with Louis Armstrong's Hot Seven.
White gets A-one support from players who share his admiration for the New Orleans style. In addition to Thatcher, Emil Mark's piano and Colin Bray's bass are synchronized with White's interpretation of the music Dodds wrote and played. Big Bill Bissonnette, the driving force behind Jazz Crusade Records, is here playing the typical New Orleans style of drums. Solid stuff and recommended.
Track Listing: Gatemouth; Too Tight; Blue Clarinet Stomp; Lonesome Blues; Wild Man Blues; Melancholy; Bull Fiddle Blues; Perdido Street Blues; Messin' Around; Oriental Man: Loveless Love
Personnel: Dr. Michael White - Clarinet; Norman Thatcher - Trumpet; Emil Mark - Piano; Colin Bray - Bass; Big Bill Bissonnette - drums
Record Label: Jazz Crusade
Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing