20th century drummers'
hall of fame
listen to Baby
Mr. Jelly Lord
Baby Dodds on brushes with Jelly Roll Morton
Best record to buy:
Man Blues: His 24 Greatest 1923-1940
This CD spans the bulk of Baby's career as well as his brother Johnny's,
including early tracks on which he can be heard as an essential
sideman with King Oliver, Louis Armstrong's Hot Seven, and Jelly
Roll Morton. Baby also plays great washboard on this CD.
He took his first drum lessons at the age of fourteen
with Dave Perkins, he then studied with Walter Brundy and Louis
Cottrell. Baby knew the rudiments, and represents the transition
from the New Orleans marching band to the drumset player's setup
we know today. Before dodds, there were three drummers: on bass,
snare and cymbals.
Dodds played drums in New Orleans parade and jazz bands
he played in Fate Marable's riverboat bands, up and down the Mississippi.
he went to San Francisco to join King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band.
Dodds recorded with Oliver in Chicago the following year, and before
the end of the decade, he appeared on classic recordings with other
ex-New Orleans small-group leaders such as Louis Armstrong, Jelly
Roll Morton, and Baby's brother Johnny Dodds. He also played in
Johnny's bands during the 1920s and '30s; during the 1940s traditional
jazz revival, he was active in New York City as well as in Chicago,
including a period with Bunk Johnson's popular band (1944-45). Poor
health led Dodds to perform only irregularly after 1949.
Baby Dodds Story
by Baby Dodds as told
to Larry Gara
was originally released in 1959, the year Baby dodds passed away.
It's an interesting look into the mind of a legendary figure in
the history of jazz. Click on the link or the picture to buy it
More great sound samples at John Petters' baby
dodds page at traditional-jazz.com