Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dodo may be gone, but he'll never be extinct.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Occasionally one comes across an artist who, through a combination of talent and personal quirks, makes an impression that cannot be dispelled. Jazz is particularly rich in such compelling characters-Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and Art Pepper are the major names that come immediately to mind-no doubt because of its origins as "race" music and all the "underground" associations that grew up around it. For me, Michael "Dodo" Marmarosa is a less well known but quintessential example of this exotic breed of musician, deeply gifted and almost as deeply flawed. The story of his life, and how it effected and ultimately silenced his musical gifts is readily available in the many obits that appeared at the time of his death in 2002 and are necessary to understanding his life and contributions in their entirety, But this is a review of one CD, containing a generous sample not only of his individual brilliance but of his talent for fitting in with the many brilliant musicians with whom he played. (Among the names of those not represented in "Up in Dodo's Room" I would mention particularly Charlie Barnet, Boyd Raeburn, Wardell Gray, Lucky Thompson, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and Slim Gaillard.)The consensus highlight of this collection would probably be the take of "Bird Lore" (a.k.a. "Ornithology") in which Marmarosa is a most deservingly featured soloist, but my own vote for outstanding cut is the title track, done with the Howard McGhee septet and featuring (over Marmarosa's exquisite comping) a spare, haunting tenor solo by Teddy Edwards. But in fact, there's not one selection that does not repay close and repeated listening. There are solo exhibitions of his Tatum-esque technical bravura ("Tea for Two") and impressionistic classicism ("Tone Paintings") as well as a generous helping of his trio work with West Coast stalwarts, bassist Harry Babasin (actually a plucked cello pioneer in these 1947 recordings) and drummer Jackie Mills. These latter feature a couple of standards (slightly reworked and retitled but still identifiable) as well as three Marmarosa compositions: "Dodo's Dance," "Bopmatism" and "Dary Departs." The latter of which I for some reason (doubtless deeply personal) find utterly ravishing.I highly recommend this CD as an excellent introduction to the artistry of this wonderful pianist. And if it affects the reader of this appreciation as it affected me, he (or she) will soon be scouring various vendor's sites seeking to track down as much of his recorded output as can be found. And lamenting the loss of what, in a more perfect world than the one Michael Marmarosa did his bit to ennoble, might have been a great deal more."