Soul Station Feature: Johnny Dodds

Gravier Street Blues

In the era of 78s, an album was an oversized book containing several, often it was at least six, 78s. Sometimes the packages were devoted to a single artist, and sometimes to a set of related artists, or to related music. In 1940 the Decca label released such an album consisting of older musicians associated with the thriving jazz scene of New Orleans during the 1920s. One of the discs was credited to Johnny Dodds, often considered the most important clarinet player of the 1920s. He, sometimes with his drummer brother Warren 'Baby' Dodds, recorded with Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and many, many others. The side posted has a beautiful solo by guitarist Lonnie Johnson, who was from New Orleans, though many blues fans probably do not associate him with NOLA. It is during his solo that the piano, played by Richard M Jones (his name is attached to Trouble In Mind!) can be heard. Jones and Johnson sound great together, though everyone plays beautifully!

DJ Pi/Paul Yamada