Johnny Dodds was one of the first New Orleans jazz clarinetists to be heard on phonograph records, and through that medium he was among the first to influence younger musicians throughout the U.S. and the world. Released in 2002, Black & Blue's King of the New Orleans Clarinet presents a sampling of his work dating from the years 1926-1938, in a timeline that skips his work with King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton, and ultimately stops short of his final two recordings from 1940. These marvelous old Columbia, Vocalion, Victor, and Decca records were originally issued under the names of the New Orleans Wanderers, the New Orleans Bootblacks, Jimmy Blythe's Owls, the Beale Street Washboard Band; the Johnny Dodds Trio, the Johnny Dodds Orchestra, the Johnny Dodds Washboard Band, Johnny Dodds' Black Bottom Stompers and Johnny Dodds & His Chicago Boys. An excellent choice for those seeking an introduction to this musician's legacy, it is nevertheless outshone by other more complete offerings, especially Dodds' complete works as presented by the Classics Chronological Series.
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