(unframed Version) April 19, 2012 - 'Washboard Blues..' - Rue Royale - French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana.
This fellow - (You'll see more of him & the whole troupe later) his thimble-tipped fingers a blur - was really 'after it' on his washboard & tin-can-band percussion instruments, dancing about, happily accompanying the rest of his troupe.. He's part of a continuing legacy, so I've found..
Warren "Baby" Dodds was one of first great drummers of Jazz and the brother of clarinetist Johnny Dodds. It has been said of him, "the nimble, thimbled fingers of Baby Dodds on the washboard produced magic". He got his start playing in parades in New Orleans, occasionly with Frankie Dusen's Eagle Band. Baby played briefly with his brother Johnny in Kid Ory's Band, but was embrassed when all the musicians walked off stage because of his poor playing. This incident only served to inspire him to become a better musican. He played in several other bands in New Orleans before joining Fate Marable's riverboat band in 1918. While working on the riverboat he played with Louis Armstrong, Johnny St. Cyr, and Pops Foster, among others. He stayed in Marable's band until King Oliver asked him to join his band in San Francisco in 1921. Dodds followed Oliver to Chicago and was the drumer in King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. After the breakup of that band Dodds worked with Honore Dutrey at the Dreamland in Chicago and with several other bands in the city.
From 1927 to 1929 Baby Dodds played in his brothers' band at Kelly's Stables along with Freddie Keppard. He was the drummer on many of the classic Chicago Jazz recordings of Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers and Louis Armstrong's Hot Seven. Throughout the Depression, Baby played in many of the small groups lead by his brother Johnny, and then went on to play with Jimmy Noone, and with Bunk Johnson in the 1940's.
~ The Baby Dodds Story as told to Larry Gara, Louisiana State University Press, 1959
Street Jazz! Folk! A tradition more than a hundred years old, the street performing musicians of the Big Easy will always bring a unique sound and view to the 'Quarter.' Performed by the curious and the mundane - some skilled, some not - but all with personality. Talent and poverty here go hand-in-hand. Alive, or cast in bronze, New Orleans music makers are the key ingredient of celebration here. They set the mood. They are the Great American South at it's best, and worst. From the streets of the city, the bars & clubs, Preservation Hall, the stern of the Natchez, to plantations in the western parishes, the sound of Jazz & Folk rules... Their images sing.
Thanks for yesterday's opening image - 'Larger than I' comments.. Good to be back..