Dodds, Baby [Warren]
- Bruce Boyd Raeburn
(b New Orleans, LA, Dec 24, 1898; d Chicago, IL, Feb 14, 1959). American drummer, brother of johnny Dodds. His maternal grandfather was a Native American drummer, not an African American at Congo Square as Rudi Blesh surmised, and he was called Baby to differentiate him from his father, also named Warren. As a teenager he received “hands-on” instruction in rudiments from Dave Perkins and Louis Cottrell and in reading from Walter Brundy, and worked in parades as a snare drummer with Bunk Johnson. Due to his training and innate attention to detail, Dodds developed a melodic style of performance that accentuated and supported what other musicians were doing, always with an impeccable sense of dynamics, structure, and tempo—invariably playing for the band. Before working with Fate Marable’s riverboat bands (1918–21), he had worked with Willie Hightower, Big Eye Louis Nelson, Frank Duson, Jack Carey, and Oscar Celestin. In ...