June 3rd, 2009
Jerry Dodgion was in town this weekend playing in a big band making a recording with Phil Kelly. He told me he needed a new portrait for publicity since he has some gigs coming up in the San Francisco Bay area. He grabbed his sax and we got together and made this portrait. Jerry is a jazz saxophonist and flautist.
Jerry Dodgion, alto saxophone, flute, arranger and composer, hails from Richmond, California on San Francisco Bay. He gained early experience in 1950s with bay area bands of Rudy Salvini, John Coppola/Chuck Travis and Gerald Wilson as well as brief appearances with the Vernon Alley quartet which included backing Billie Holiday in 1955.
Dodgion joined Benny Carter, on Gerald Wilson’s recommendation, for the opening of the “Moulin Rouge” in Las Vegas ‘55. Jerry joined the Red Norvo quintet [`58-’61] which included long stints in Las Vegas at the “Sands Hotel.” Many tours accompanying Frank Sinatra ‘59-’60 plus touring as part of the Benny Goodman groups of ‘59-’61 which incorporated the Red Norvo quintet into Goodman’s ten piece band (including Flip Phillips, Bill Harris and Jack Sheldon) and subsequent versions which included Zoot Sims, Carl Fontana and Charlie Shavers.
After a long career as a side man, Dodgion’s first release as a bandleader arrived in 2004 with his ensemble The Joy of Sax, featuring saxophonists Frank Wess, Brad Leali, Dan Block and Jay Brandford, pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist Dennis Irwin and percussionist Joe Farnsworth.