Although Marmarosa would go on to record a now out-of-print album titled Dodo Marmarosa: The Chicago Sessions for Argo six months after this album, this one is more musically significant and is still in print.
Half of the tracks (5 through 9, 11 and 14) are Marmarosa backed by Sam Jones on bass and Marshall Thompson on drums. The remaining tracks feature tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons joining the trio. All of the tracks were recorded for Prestige during a single session in Chicago on May 4, 1962.
Some folks prefer the trio tracks, but to my ears both sets are worthwhile. I will admit that I am a big fan of Ammons, and of tenor saxophones in general. Listen to the sound samples on this page and decide for yourself.
Marmarosa is in full command of his instrument on this album, and his backing is excellent. Sam Jones on bass, in particular, turns in a strong performance that seems to inspire Marmarosa. Thompson's drumming is also excellent. As I mentioned I enjoy Ammons' playing and think that it's a perfect addition to the ensemble. Marmarosa and Jones are in there with Ammons melodically and harmonically and that is what makes it exciting.
The bottom line is this, like the other recorded work of Marmarosa, is an important record of Dodo the musician and, to a lesser extent, Dodo the man. I am not going to go into his back story because it has no place in a review of one of his albums, but chances are if you are on this page you already known. Instead of lamenting that I am going to be thankful that he managed to record these tracks before essentially dropping out of sight.
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About the reviewer
Mike Tarrani (mtarrani)
My day job is in the technology sector as an IT consultant specializing in ITIL, and specifically, configuration, change and release management. I've traveled the world as a consultant before moving … more