Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dodo Marmarosa - Complete Dial Sessions (1946-1947)

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a child prodigy, Marmarosa was a trained classical pianist, but familiarised himself with jazz in parallel and practised with schoolmate Erroll Garner, another pianist from Pittsburgh. He received the uncomplimentary nickname "Dodo" as a child because of his large head and short body.
He began his professional career in 1941, joining the Johnny "Scat" Davis Orchestra at the age of 15, which led him to joining Gene Krupa's band shortly after. The early 1940s brought a stint in Charlie Barnet's big band, where he first met Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, the luminaries of bebop. In 1944, he joined Tommy Dorsey, playing alongside Buddy Rich. In November 1944, Marmarosa joined Artie Shaw's combo, known as the Gramercy Five, that also featured guitarist Barney Kessel and fellow Pittsburgher, trumpet player Roy Eldridge.
He recorded as a sideman in the late 1940s, notably with Lester Young, Charlie Parker and Howard McGhee. He also featured in Gene Norman's Just Jazz concerts, and in 1947 won Esquire magazine's New Star (piano) award. His recordings with Charlie Parker in 1946 in Hollywood are regarded as some the finest Jazz records ever made.
Marmarosa recorded a 78-rpm single for Savoy Records on July 21, 1950. The recording featured Marmarosa's trio, with Thomas Mandrus on bass and Joe "Jazz" Wallace on drums. The four tunes recorded for the session were reissued by Savoy on the double album, The Modern Jazz Piano Album (1980). After 1950, his only recordings were a 1961 session for Argo Records under the supervision of Chicago producer Jack Tracy (Dodo's Back !) and a 1962 Chicago studio date featuring him in trio and, with Gene Ammons, quartet settings (available as Prestige CD Jug & Dodo). He continued to perform in Pittsburgh, albeit irregularly, and a CD containing amateur recordings of his performances has been issued by Uptown Records. His low profile has been attributed to mental illness : Marmarosa was drafted in 1954, given electric shock treatment, and discharged in poor psychological condition.
Marmarosa last performed in public at the Colony Restaurant in Pittsburgh in 1968. Despite his intermittent career, he is generally considered to have been in the top rank of jazz pianists. At the time of his death, Marmarosa resided at the VA Medical Center in Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, Pittsburgh, occasionally playing piano and organ for residents and guests of the center.

Source :

Dodo Marmarosa
Complete Dial Sessions


1 Deep Purple (DeRose, Parish)  2:14
2 Tea for Two (Caesar, Youmans)  1:30
3 Bird Lore (Harris, Parker)  3:03
4 Dialated Pupils [take 1] (McGhee, Parker)  2:30
5 Dialated Pupils [take 2] (McGhee, Parker)  2:55
6 Midnight at Minton's (McGhee)  2:57
7 Up in Dodo's Room [take 1] (McGhee)  3:07
8 Up in Dodo's Room [take 2] (McGhee)  3:14
9 High Wind in Hollywood ()  2:37
10 Tone Paintings I (Marmarosa)  3:00
11 Tone Paintings II (Marmarosa)  2:56
12 Bopmatism [take 1] (Marmarosa)  3:06
13 Bopmatism [take 2] (Marmarosa)  2:56
14 Dodo's Dance [take 1] (Marmarosa)  3:05
15 Dodo's Dance [take 2] (Marmarosa)  3:08
16 Trade Winds [take 1] (Marmarosa)  3:07
17 Trade Winds [take 2] (Marmarosa)  3:10
18 Dary Departs [take 1] (Marmarosa)  2:45
19 Dary Departs [take 2] (Marmarosa)  2:45
20 Dary Departs [take 3] (Marmarosa)  2:35
21 Cosmo Street [take 1] (Marmarosa)  3:28
22 Cosmo Street [take 2] (Marmarosa)  2:53


[# 1, 2, 10 & 11]
Dodo Marmarosa - p
Recorded AFRS radio broadcast, Hollywood, California ; circa February, 1946 [# 1, 2] ; & private recordings, Hollywood, California ; 1946 or 1947 [# 10 & 11]
[# 3]
Charlie Parker - as
Miles Davis - tp
Lucky Thompson - ts
Arvin Garrison - g
Dodo Marmarosa - p
Vic McMillan - b
Roy Porter - dr
Recorded at Radio Recorders Studio, Hollywood ; March 28, 1946
[# 4-9]
Howard McGhee - tp
Teddy Edwards - ts
Arvin Garrison - g
Dodo Marmarosa - p
Bob Kesterson - b
Roy Porter - dr
Recorded in Los Angeles ; October 18, 1946
[# 12-22]
Dodo Marmarosa - p
Harry Babasin - b & cl [# 18-22]
Jackie Mills - dr
Recorded in Hollywood, California; December 3, 1947 & Los Angeles ; between early 1947 & Early/Mid 1947
One of the finest pianists of the bop era, Dodo Marmarosa's career was cut short by mental illness. He playeed locally at first and then made strong contributions to the orchestras of Gene Krupa (1942-1943), Tommy Dorsey (1944), Charlie Barnet (taking the opening piano solo on the hit "Skyliner"), and Artie Shaw (playing with his Gramercy Five). Marmarosa was often teamed with Barney Kessel (with whom he had been with Barnet and Shaw) and both settled in Los Angeles by 1946. Marmarosa recorded with Boyd Raeburn and Lester Young, became the house pianist for the Atomic label, made an important session with Charlie Parker in 1947 (which resulted in "Relaxin' in Camarillo"), and worked with his trio. But after a Savoy date in 1950, nothing was heard from him for a decade. Mamarosa resurfaced in Chicago during 1961-1962 to record two trio outings and a session with Gene Ammons (for Argo and Prestige) but then he disappeared, permanently retiring in Pittsburgh. Dodo Marmarosa's 1946-1947 recordings have been partially reissued by Onyx and Dial, while live dates surfaced on Jazz Showcase, Swing House, and Phoenix.
Scott Yanow

Source :


Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

Thank you.

5 cents said...

New artist to me. Thanks.

Markus Rose said...

A lost legend. Thank you.

neil said...

Dodo Lives! Many thanks. mel...

fcapeau said...

Great Classics at all times ! Many thanks, Mel.

pedro gamundi said...


Prof. Yaffle said...

Many thanks

Bloggo Blavatsky said...

Thank you very much. I knew a man who played bass for Dodo. Many interesting stories. Once, after a week of gigs Dodo paid his men in dress shirts from some tailor. My friend kept one as a reminder.