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8835Re: Noone Procope Benny Waters Johnny Dodds)

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    Sep 20, 2011
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      So far as I understand, Johnny Dodds had dental problems in the 1930s and somewhere in the mists of my archives I may have some ancient publication with a reference to this. It is possible that at one or both of the later sessions he had false teeth.  There are of course other lines of inquiry regarding the variety of playing to be heard from Johnny Dodds, like the wonderful front line duetting with Louis A on "I'm Goin' Huntin'" with Blythe and Bertrand...  The years before 1938 when JD was unrecorded had some effect. Maybe he felt different. And he was in different company especially in 1938.

      The intro to "Lonesome Blues" with the Hot Five, I do recall reading, possibly in a publication older than I am, had something to do with JD beginning around the time of the session to play with a heavier reed, but there is evidence that if he was slightly inconvenienced by such a switch -- beyond my memory of something read long ago -- he was subsequently in full command of the instrument.

      Sandy Brown certainly regarded the final Dodds session as something of a breakthrough into a new approach, and said that these two titles were where his own playing came from.

      I certainly wasn't saying that Evan Christopher can sound like anybody, he can modify his playing to sound more like Bechet not by doing the sort of impersonation which I gather Bruce Turner liked to do a musical fun, but by making the most of what his playing normally has in common with Bechet's, which is still continuous with his own playing,  which shades toward sounding like Albert Nicholas and indeed Herb Hall as well as Ed Hall.  But the fact that musician C sometimes sounds like musician  B or whoever doesn't mean there's any impersonation going on.  

      Bennie Wallace leaned towards the Hawkins in his playing when he recorded the Hawkins centernary concert in Berlin without in the least shading toward impersonation.

      I also recall someone once dismissing Benny Carter's trumpet playing as too close to Armstrong.

      A test that would get in the way of a lot of the legacy of swing trumpeters


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