Warren "Baby" Dodds, father of American drumming
March 22, 2010 6:56 AM Subscribe
posted by flapjax at midnite (11 comments total)
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Back in the 1920s, when Warren "Baby" Dodds
was busy inventing jazz drumming in the company of pioneers like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, to "give the drummer some" usually never meant more than a couple of bars fill every now and again. Fortunately, though, come 1946, when Dodds was already an older man but still in fine playing form, someone had the wherewithal to record this seminal percussion stylist in a series of extended drum solos, displaying his exuberant rhythmic stylings
as well as his lending of superbly playful swing
to the the rudiments
. But let's jump back to the 20's again, and hear drummer Dodds, with the aforementioned King Oliver, take what's gotta be the killingest slide whistle solo
in all of jazz history.
One more thing: here's a clip of Baby Dodds playing a floor tom solo
over "Tea for Two" on piano. Here Dodds employed an innovative technique: he changes the pitch of the drum by using his foot, harkening back to the tradition of the talking drums of Nigeria and Ghana. Too bad for us that there was inadequate microphone placement and recording technique employed, though, for here we get little to no actual audible pitch differentiation. Nonetheless, this little clip is an important historical document, testament to the remarkable creativity and what some would term "African retentions" in African-American musicianship.