Français: : Great drummers

Dodds Warren "Baby"

Musicians or bands:

KOCJB (King Oliver Creole Jazz Band), Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton "Red Hot Peppers", Sidney Bechet, Mezz Mezrow, Kid Ory, Barney Bigard

Biography and commentary:

Born in 1898 in New Orleans, "Baby" Dodds, is one of the first recorded modern drumset drummers, in 1923 in Chicago, with the "King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band" (founded in 1922 with beginner Louis Armstrong), who claimed as the first real "jazz" band, because of improvised dialogs, from the French “jaser” (“to talk"), not "Jass" ("ass") referring to brothels and used by the ODJB, "Original Dixieland Jass Band" ( which later changed the "jass" to "jazz" in its name), band with white men "imitating" (badly: no "swing" ( ternarizing or between) in medium and slow tempo, African concept), for example, very little improvisation and grotesque, with imitation of animal sounds: can we therefore call that jazz?) the original black jazz of New Orleans, often considered the first recorded jazz band in 1917, year of their foundation in Chicago (the first record of black jazz musicians (1922) is from "Kid" Ory (own mentor of Joe "King" Oliver), which already played in public at 10 years old, in Louisiana, in 1896! ). Baby Dodds was already playing improvised technical (buzz rolls, ruffs, jumped single stroke rolls, syncopated accents, passages, etc.) and creative solos (daring offbeat fills, use of all the timbres one after the other (cowbell, rim, woodblock, cymbal, drums), 6 over 4 shiftings in the solos, first real independence of hands with regular "beat" with the right foot (as in military drumming with two musicians), etc.) even before the appearance of the toms with screwable rods, hi-hat pedal and cymbal stand (he hung classical cymbals with strap or string to "L" bars on the bass drum). He was trained in New Orleans parades ("marching bands", based on the African polyrhythm and the French military rudiments, which play for the carnival (“Mardi Gras”, named as in France, from the former French colonies tradition) or funerals), and then dance floors on paddle boats. He also commonly used cowbells and wood blocks (so there are not recent inventions) and played on the “rim” (“hoop”) of the bass drum or putting one foot on the floor tom ("bass tom") to make vary its tone (see the video document on Drummerworld, extracted from the first educational video on modern drumset playing, 1946). Warren died in 1959, and remained faithful to the classic jazz of which he is undoubtedly one of the inventors (he never integrated hi-hat pedal for example, but on the opposite, the tom with screw rods with double tightening (on the model of the American snare drum) invention of Gene Krupa (1936), modeled on the Chinese tom tom used originally in jazz (kind of small round drum, with double nailed skins), which shows well the extent of mixing of jazz, making it truly a typical American musical form).

Marc De Douvan, publication in French: January 3, 2006 (for the translation in English: July 12, 2015)

Link to Drummerworld or other


© 2005 Marc de Douvan Crédits Mentions légales