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Weary City

Johnny Dodds' Washboard Band


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Feat. Charlie Alexander


Recorded in Chicago on July 6th 1928 featuring Natty Dominique cornet, Honore Dutrey trombone, Johnny Dodds clarinet, Charlie Alexander piano, and Bill Johnson bass, and Baby Dodds washboard.

Johnny Dodds and company get tight and deep beginning with a familiar theme and bringing it to new heights with grand elaboration. Charlie Alexander's solo break comes through particularly concise, with the trombone of Dutrey serving as an ever present mood setting necessity throughout. -Matt Chauvin

Many of the early 78 rpm, and the first LP, reissues of these Dodds' classics made the mistake of naming the pianist on the 1928 W.B. Band and Trio sessions as Lil Hardin whereas in reality it was Charlie Alexander, Dodds' regular pianist at Kelly's Stables, who appears here. -Matt Chauvin

This is an extraordinary record by any standards. The sensitive, soulful, relaxed and legato style of the front-line (especially the superb trombone solo with its ravishingly beautiful counterpoint by the often harsh and spiky horn of Natty) contrasts with, and complements the urgent, fussy, agitated and staccato style of the three-man rhythm section.

Johnny Dodds (presumably the arranger as well as the copyright holder) at his very best- not least in the choice of title; evoking a real life, secular version of the Holy City infused with the tragedy of the blues.

The Victor Company records show the actual personnel - as shown by Rust (always worth checking with this monumental tome before rushing into print). Lil Hardin appeared on the J.D. Orch. and Trio Victor sessions in 1929. Compare the totally different style, touch and use of the sustaining pedal of the two pianists. -Henry Davis

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