Wednesday, March 17, 2010

for dorothy donegan (2)

for dorothy donegan

“her reputation as a lounge entertainer has virtually buried the fact that she is potentially the greatest jazz pianist playing today."
john s. wilson

u, lady dynamite, not peterson, was tatum’s
true protégé. yr stride left hand played a four-beat life
pulse with a single bass note, a shrill octave, sassy
seventh or tentative tenth interval on yr first
& third beats; an orchestral chord on yr second &
fourth. we all knew that this "baby got bach! ” when u dressed
a standard in polyphonic structures,when u struck
the notes in that melody & listened to their long
decay, when u placed yr uncommon accents in strange
& unusual places, often before the down,
& then swung gently like marylou, bringing the halves
of yr genius, like tatum & williams together –
we witnessed adroitness never again to be seen .

©Joseph McNair;2010

1 comment:

  1. This woman was a fantastic player and entertainer. Thank you for bringing her back.