Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Johnny Dunn born 19 February 1897

Johnny Dunn (February 19, 1897 – August 20, 1937) was an American traditional jazz trumpeter and vaudeville performer.

Before Louis Armstrong arrived in New York in 1924, Johnny Dunn was considered the top cornetist in the city. His staccato style, double-time effects and utilization of wah-wah mutes gave him notoriety for a time.

Dunn had attended Fisk University in Nashville and had a solo act in Memphis before being discovered by W.C. Handy. He joined Handy's band in 1917 and during the next three years became known for his feature on "Sergeant Dunn's Bugle Call Blues" (which later became the basis for "Bugle Call Rag"). A pioneer with plunger mutes, Dunn's double-time breaks, with their inflexible and jerky rhythms, had a direct link to military bands.

He recorded with Mamie Smith in 1920-1921, leaving in the latter year to lead his own Original Jazz Hounds. From 1921-1923, the cornetist recorded frequently, both with his own group and backing singer Edith Wilson.

He joined Will Vodery's Plantation Orchestra in 1922, visiting Europe with the revue Dover to Dixie the following year. However, the Chicago musicians were much farther advanced than Dunn and once Louis Armstrong began influencing brassmen with his swinging, legato solos for Fletcher Henderson, Dunn was instantly out of date.


After visiting Europe again (this time with the Blackbirds of 1926 show), Dunn briefly led his own big band and then in 1928 made his finest recordings, four numbers with Jelly Roll Morton and two with both James P. Johnson and Fats Waller on pianos.

Strangely enough, he never recorded again, moving permanently to Europe, where he played with Noble Sissle in Paris, worked with his own group (the New Yorkers) mostly in Holland, and was largely forgotten before his early death. Dunn died of tuberculosis aged 40 in Paris, France in August 1937

Dunn was among the best of the musicians playing in the immediate pre-jazz years and he influenced many of his contemporaries. Overshadowed though he was by the arrival of Louis Armstrong, Dunn was still an able and gifted player, showing subtle power and using complex patterns that never descended into mere showmanship. His stylistic roots became outmoded during the 30s but his decision to remain in Europe and his early death meant that his reputation never suffered, except, perhaps, by neglect, and today he can be recognized as having been a highly accomplished trumpeter.

(Edited from Wikipedia All About Jazz & AllMusic)

Alto saxophonist Lex van Spall and drummer Bobby 't Sas led a band called "The Chocolate Kiddies" in Holland in the early 1930's. For this film they had guest artists Johnny Dunn, the famous American trumpeter and trombonist Jake Green who also recorded with Bessie Smith. The tenor saxophonist is Jascha Trabsky who later had a famous record shop in The Hague.

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Johnny Dunn - Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order
- Volume 2 (1922-1928)” go here:


01-Edith Wilson w Johnny Dunn & Others-Dixie Blues.mp3
02-Edith Wilson w Johnny Dunn & Others-He Used To Be Your Man But He's My Man Now.mp3
03-Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Hounds-Hallelujah Blues.mp3
04-Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Hounds-Spanish Dream (Espa¤ola Blues).mp3
05-Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Band-Dixie Blues.mp3
06-Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Band-Sugar Blues.mp3
07-Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Band-Sweet Lovin' Mama (Please Come Back To Me).mp3
08-Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Band-Vamping Sal (The Sheba Of Georgia).mp3
09-Johnny Dunn & His Jazz Band-Jazzin' Babies Blues.mp3
10-Johnny Dunn & His Jazz Band-I Promised Not To Holler, But Hey! Hey!.mp3
11-Johnny Dunn w Leroy Tibbs & Sam Speed-Dunn's Cornet Blues.mp3
12-Johnny Dunn w Leroy Tibbs & Sam Speed-You've Never Heard The Blues.mp3
13-The Plantation Orchestra-Silver Rose.mp3
14-The Plantation Orchestra-Arabella's Wedding Day.mp3
15-The Plantation Orchestra-Smiling Joe.mp3
16-The Plantation Orchestra-For Baby And Me.mp3
17-Johnny Dunn & His Band-Sergeant Dunn's Bugle Call Blues.mp3
18-Johnny Dunn & His Band-Ham And Eggs.mp3
19-Johnny Dunn & His Band-Buffalo Blues.mp3
20-Johnny Dunn & His Band-You Need Some Loving.mp3
21-Dunn's Original Jazz Hounds-What's The Use Of Being Alone.mp3
22-Dunn's Original Jazz Hounds-Original Bugle Blues.mp3

A big thank you to FEZ @ Free Easy Zipped blog for active link.

Johnny Dunn, whose staccato phrasing, use of the wah-wah mute, and fondness of bugle calls were part of a distinctive if dated style in the early '20s, is heard on his finest recordings on this Austrian RST CD, the second of two reissues. Edith Wilson has vocals on the first two numbers, and there are eight pieces from Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Hounds (including early renditions of "Sugar Blues" and "Jazzin' Babies Blues"), a pair of atmospheric duets with pianist Leroy Tibbs, and four titles by the Plantation Orchestra in 1926. Best are four selections with Jelly Roll Morton in 1928 and Dunn's final two recordings (the classic "What's the Use of Being Alone?" and "Original Bugle Blues"), which feature both James P. Johnson and Fats Waller romping on piano. Recommended for vintage jazz collectors.