Johnny Dodds (Waveland, Chicagoapril 12, 1892 -August 8, 1940) was an American jazz alto saxophonist andclarinetist in the New Orleans-style, best known for his recordings under his own name and with bands such as those of Joe "King" Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Lovie Austin and Louis Armstrong. Dodds was also the older brother of drummer Warren "Baby" Dodds. The two worked together in the New Orleans Bootblacksin 1926.
Born in Waveland, Mississippi, in the United States in his youth, Johnny Dodds moved to New Orleans and studied clarinet with Lorenzo Tio. He played with the bands of Frankie Duson, Kid Ory , and Joe "King" Oliver. Dodds was in the band by Kid Ory's in New Orleans during the period 1912 to 1919. He also played on riverboats with Fate Marable in 1917 and moved to Chicago in 1921. There, he played with Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, with which he first recorded in 1923. Dodds (pronounced "dots"), also worked frequently with his good friend Natty Dominique during this period. It was a professional relationship that would last a lifetime. After the break-up of the Oliver's band in 1924, Dodds replaced Alcide Nunez as the House clarinetist and bandleader of Kelly's Stables. He also made recordings with numerous small groups in Chicago, especially Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven, and the Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers.
Known for his professionalism and virtuosity as a musician and his genuine blues-style, exerted an important influence on later clarinetists Dodds as Benny Goodman. Dodds had a very soulful, bluesy style of play.His tone was striking, with a full, typical reeds sound in the low register and a variety of rich sounds in the high register, and featured a wide vibrato , flat.
Johnny Dodds entered into following groups on as band leader or session leader:
- Johnny Dodds Trio
- Beale Street Washboard Band
- Johnny Dodds ' Black Bottom Stompers
- Johnny Dodds and his Orchestra
- Johnny Dodds Washboard Band
- Johnny Dodds Hot Six
- Dodds And Parham
- Johnny Dodds And His Chicago Boys
To his excellent recordings include "Perdido Street Blues" and "Too Tight Blues" with the New Orleans Wanderers, "Wolverine Blues" with the Jelly Roll Morton trio, and a series of Victor recordings in 1928-1929 he led, including "Heah ' me Talkin'", "Too Tight" and "My Little Isabel."