Cooks For All Cats

by Donny McDonald

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about

Original Jacket Notes:

SOMETHING COOKING FOR ALL CATS

DONNY MCDONALD has covered the full range of musical experience from playing by ear in a Prohibition speakeasy-brothel to playing in some of the finest symphony orchestras in the USA. He was born within a mile of Bobby Hackett and Nick Fatool in Providence, R.I., and no doubt came under the influence of some of the musicians who influenced these stars. After learning to read music at about age fifteen, he received a scholarship to the famous Juilliard School of Music in New York on his native musical talent alone, having told the audition jury, "If I could play that stuff, I wouldn't have to go to your school at all". He played "Dinah" for an unprecedented audition, at the request of Ernest Williams, trumpet instructor. At Juilliard two of his classmates were Mercer Ellington (Duke's son who has taken over his father's band), and Buddy Morrow, a great trombonist who was then known as Moe Zudecoff. Feeling stilted in symphonies, he moved into the big dance bands, preferring to play the second trumpet book with all the hot trumpet solos. During this period he appeared with the bands of Henry Nemo, Johnny Long, Larry Clinton, Muggsy Spanier, Hal McIntyre, Pee Wee Erwin (with whom he has often been compared), and a band named Dick Rogers, who played theaters. DONNY remembers two of those theater dates: at the Adams Theater in Newark, New Jersey, the stars were Lucille Ball and her new husband, Dezi Arnaz, on a working honeymoon. At the Strand Theater in Brooklyn the star was Phil Regan, the Singing Cop, now in prison.

After WW II DONNY led the intermission band at the Club Hangover in San Francisco with Joe Robachaux and Smokey Stover, and featuring the New Orleans singing star, Lizzie Miles. The broadcasts of this group with the George Lewis band are now collectors' items. DONNY later returned to the Club Hangover with the first Earl "Fatha" Hines band to play there. The broadcasts of this band, recorded by Darnell Howard, living next door at the Grant Hotel, are also collectors' items. In the course of the next two years DONNY worked with innumerable jazz stars, Joe Sullivan, Ralph Sutton, Meade Lux Lewis, Jim Robinson, Jimmie Archey, Dickie Wells, Darnell Howard, Albert Nicholas, Barney Bigard, Edmund Hall, George Wettling, Cozy Cole, Minor Hall, Mole Burns (who?) (I'll tell you whom he was a great drummer with Earl "Fatha" Hines.), Walter Page, Pops Foster, Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau, Squire Girshback, . . . give up?

Of recent years, DONNY has been independent of the need for income, and has been able to "play my own notes", as he puts it. The tunes in this album represent the ones with first complete range of musical taste for all cats, from White Soul (Sole), Blues, Novelty, vocals, Dixie, Swing, what have you? As Louis Armstrong said to DONNY, they's only two kinds of music, man, good and bad. This is good stuff.

credits

released September 26, 2016

Donny McDonald - Trumpet
Wilda Baughn - Vocals
Phil Howe - Clarinet
Lueder Ohlwein - Banjo
John Picardi - Drummer
Tony Rossi - Trombone
Frank Myers - Bass

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Jeremiah McDonald New York, New York

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