Baby Dodds - "Talking and Drum Solos", Atavistic / Unheard Music Series
www.atavistic.com

Can Baby Dodds be one of the most important drummers in jazz history? Perhaps so. This reissue proves that we are blessed to have this music presented to us in pristine digital sound. Solo percussion records are not always easy to swallow, but this seems to be an exception. Why? Purely based on the fact that it is not entirely an exclusively solo percussion record. Baby Dodds plays some mean solos here [dating back to 1946], but these are intercepted by his memories of playing in other legends' bands, like Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver. Also, there is an impressive section of his work from 1954 with Country Brass Bands. His sense of rhythm and percussive mastery cannot be denied. He could truly be proud of moving the percussive technique forward. The truth is the sound quality leaves much to be desired. However, we must remember these recordings date half a century, and the techniques were not as pristine as they are today. “Talking and Drum Solos” is a real slice of history. Baby Dodds work is now preserved for all to hear. Congratulations to Atavistic for cataloguing this chunk of history for future generations.

Tom Sekowski


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