Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 12 April 1892, Waverly LA; d 8 Aug. '40, Chicago) Clarinet, some alto sax. Worked off and on with Kid Ory c'11--19, briefly with Fate Marable; with King Oliver in Chicago, on the West Coast and back to Chicago '19-- 23: demonstrated classic New Orleans clarinet style on famous Oliver records '23--4. With Honor‚ Dutrey and Freddie Keppard at Kelly's Stables '24; took over residency there, often with brother Baby Dodds, Keppard returning for brief periods, until the club suddenly closed for violating Prohibition '30. Prolific freelance records during this period with Louis Armstrong (incl. Hot Fives and Hot Sevens) Jelly Roll Morton (two Red Hot Pepper dates, June '27); Oliver (specially hired for solo on 'Someday Sweetheart' Sept. '26). Led own small bands Chicago through '30s; only visit to NYC for record session Jan. '38; heart attack '39, teeth trouble; with new teeth played in Baby's quartet until March '40. Compilation Johnny Dodds '68 on RCA incl. small groups '28--9 with Dodds as leader plus Dutrey, Baby, Lil Armstrong, others; also Dixieland Jug Blowers '26. He helped point jazz away from clich‚s and novelty effects towards beauty; his command of technique did not equal that of Sidney Bechet or Jimmie Noone, but he was a very good ensemble player, and his best solos were inspired and passionate.