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Opened in 2008, The Dirty Dog is one of the premiere destinations in the United States for world class Jazz and cuisine. It combines the charm of an English-style pub with intimacy and meticulous attention to detail and hospitality.
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
January 23, 2017





Jazz can be some of the most unrestricted music on the planet and yet still utilize some form or structure. In our effort to give newer Jazz fans a roadmap as to what to listen for and appreciate in Jazz, we have described the use or non-use of “form” in Jazz.


Some Jazz, such as avant garde or free Jazz, is not based on a predetermined set of chords but is completely improvised (for an example of free Jazz, listen to Cecil Taylor’s “Enter Evening” on The Instrumental History of Jazz). Also check out Keith Jarrett’s live solo piano improvisations on the “Koln Concerts” album on ECM. This became the most successful  solo album in Jazz history, selling more than 3.5 million copies and receiving much critical acclaim. It was recorded at the Opera House in Cologne, Germany in 1975.








Form can be the tune’s blueprint, that is, “what gets played when.”


In some styles of Jazz musicians,  need to know the form of a tune before they begin playing (otherwise they could “get lost” and not know where they are in the music).  While some forms in Jazz are complex, most are easy and are standard, especially for combo playing (a combo is a small group consisting of 1 to 4 players such as horn players and possibly piano, bass, and drums). This also applies to larger Jazz ensembles such as big bands and orchestras.


Fletcher Henderson, Jr. (December 18, 1897 – December 29, 1952) was one of the most prolific musical arrangers and band leaders and, along with Duke Ellington, is considered one of the most influential arrangers and bandleaders in Jazz history. Bands are still using his charts to this day. He was also an acccomplished composer and pianist and important in the development of Big Band Jazz and “Swing”.  His band in the mid1920’s included such major Jazz artists as Coleman Hawkins, Don Redman, and Louis Armstrong.


The influential band leader and arranger, Fletcher Henderson, seated with his band in 1936




Basic Structure – in “formed Jazz” for a combo or big band:


Many Jazz tunes are built on a set of predetermined chords, also known as charts,  that accompany the melody (each Jazz tune has its own “chart” or set of predetermined chords).  Playing through the set of chords one time is called a chorus 2. Playing a Jazz tune may consist of playing several choruses, one right after the other, with something different occurring during each chorus.


Body And Soul

Jazz chart with melody and chord progressions for “Body and Soul”

written in 1930 with lyrics by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton; and music by Johnny Green.



During the first chorus, the melody (which can be written/composed) is played; this melody is called the head. Then, on each subsequent chorus, musicians in turn improvise a solo. The solo can last for as many choruses as is called for. Sometimes toward the end of his/her last chorus of improvising, the soloist tapers down the intensity (like being at the end of a story) and nods to another player in the band, signaling him/her to begin his/her solo; this keeps happening until all the musicians in the band who want to take a solo have done so (not everyone has to take a solo).



The audience usually applauds at the end of each solo, acknowledging not only that the soloist played well, but also that he/she improvised what was just played.  After the last musician finishes his/her solo, the band plays the head again — this is the last chorus.  In a nutshell, the format of the performance of many Jazz tunes is: head for one chorus – improvised solos for several choruses – head for one chorus.



Chorus is one of those terms in music that has several different meanings, depending on context. For instance, a chorus can be a group of singers (a choir); in musical theater, the chorus consists of those who sing and dance but don’t have a speaking part; in rock and pop music, the chorus is the middle part, often the “hook” of the song (pop tunes most often proceed something like verse-verse-chorus-verse). But in Jazz, a chorus is one time through the chords of a song.



The Arrangement:


For a big band (10 or more instruments), the structure is similar, but because there are so many players, more of the music must be written out ahead of time to keep everybody organized. In jazz, when portions of the music are composed ahead of time, it is called an arrangement. However, this structure does not apply to all Jazz. As we mentioned earlier, Jazz leaves the creative side of the music open to each artist’s own design. This leaves room for personal interpretation and an opportunity to create their own form.



Hopefully this wasn’t too confusing. But, music, like other art forms comes in many shapes and sizes. These art forms each have basic design, structure and rules that apply to most creations but it is understood that artist’s have the right to break those rules to properly express what they want to communicate.



Reference: Essay from Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz on “Jazz form”.





Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a trained pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM

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January 16, 2017




I am still looking in the rear view mirror at memories from last year. Opportunities came along that buoyed my spirit. I met some new people and became aware of the value of old friends. Sometimes they were standing next to each other.




The glue that holds societies and families together is having common experiences and common goals. Detroit counts on this when difficult times come along. It is also what allows us to celebrate when something good happens.


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Sometime last year I started noticing  a lot of familiar faces that were attentively looking up at the latest band of Dirty Dog jazz musicians. My memory is not my greatest strength so this probably wasn’t the first or second time a lot of these customers had visited the Dirty Dog.


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These were the regulars, individuals who can be counted on, the jazz faithfuls. These are folks who support the music and appreciate the effort it takes to make it available. They also like to have a good time, a warm place to go in a Michigan winter and a cool place to go at the end of a hot Michigan summer day. They also, I realized,  like to come into a jazz friendly space where like minded people allow themselves to get lost in the music. They seem to know when quiet respect is appropriate yet free to show their unbridled  enthusiasm.




Last year many music lovers were attracted to our city. Detroit is changing. Hopefully this will mean a growing interest in live music and the arts that will include an appreciation for all the roots that are the strength of Detroit’s powerful presence in the world’s music.




A lot of folks found their way to the Dirty Dog for the first time. We frequently heard the question ” Dang it, how long has this been here?”.  Visitors to the city include their Dirty Dog  moment in their vision of Detroit. It was a good year to listen to jazz and watch Detroit grow.




This is a follow up to last week’s blog about  bassist Ron Carter’s visit to the Dirty Dog.


Ron Carter was 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival’s artist in residence. This honor comes with obligations that this native Detroiter took to heart. Before they could stop him he was scheduled for four gigs at the festival. Ron has been one of the most original, prolific, and  influential bassists in jazz, with more than 2,000 albums to his credit.




I had very little contact with Ron Carter in person. I did spend a lot of time with his image in front of me. I painted his portrait for the Detroit Jazz Festival. Ron Carter was the first  musician to be recognized by the festival on its poster. This was to be a celebration of not just Ron Carter’s greatness but of Detroit’s glorious process in growing great musicians.


Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan has been a cauldron for America’s jazz musicians. Ron is a graduate of Cass Tech and has lived up to the expectation as an artist and as a man. Here he was nearly 60 years after graduating back in Detroit gently but firmly showing our next generation how a man acts and a jazz man plays.


When I suggested to this imposing figure of a man that as we get old we  have less pressure as we have less to prove, he replied: ” Every morning when I wake up I hope that this will be the day that I find a new note.”




I am proud to have been somewhat involved with the  and remain in awe of the musicians whose vitality give me inspiration.





The Dirty Dog’s plans to become a 10,000 seat auditorium have been put on hold so it will remain a small intimate venue where one can get to know the artists. This will mean that there will continue to be smile exchanges throughout the place during the meals and during / after the music.




There will be room for everyone including first timers for all of 2017.




PHIL KELLY TRIO  –  WED 1/18/17 – THURS 1/19/17





KYLE EASTWOOD  – FRI 1/2017 –  SAT – 1/21/17


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January 12, 2017


Detroit Guitarist’s Mid 70’s “Fish Feet” Album on Strata Finally Get’s Released






Guitarist Ron English is a well-respected member of Detroit’s music community. He has helped shape contemporary Jazz styles since the 1960’s with a diverse repertoire covering Jazz , Blues, Avant-garde, Motown, Soul/Funk and Gospel.



Growing up in Lansing, he came from a musical family, as his father was a guitar teacher, starting, him on lessons at an early age. He soon got involved in the Jazz scene in Detroit at the Artists’ Workshop and started playing with the Detroit Contemporary 5 which included some of the city’s most progressive artists such as trumpeter Charles Moore, pianist Kenn Cox, Drummer Danny Spencer, bassist John Dana, and saxophonist Larry Nozero. They soon created the artist-run, now legendary, Strata Records.



Strata was more than a label. It was a magazine, a venue for concerts, poetry readings and other performance arts and many more activities that provided services for artists of all kinds. Their headquarters and performance venue was at 46 W. Selden in the University/Cultural Center of Detroit.



For the next two decades Ron was very active, touring and recording with Detroit’s who’s who of Jazz during that era, including Lyman Woodard, Phil Ranelin, Wendell Harrison, Kenn Cox, Eddie Russ and many others. He toured as a backing musician for many Motown artists such as the Supremes, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and others. He was also a founding member of the Woolies who had a hit cover of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” in 1967.



During this time he also led his own group which played weekly at Cobb’s Corner on Cass and Willis opening for such notables as McCoy Tyner, The Jazz Crusaders and other big names.



Currently, English teaches guitar, Jazz theory and ensemble classes at Marygrove College. He can also be heard every Tuesday night at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe with the Charles Boles Quartet with Boles on piano, Renell Gonzalves on drums and John Dana on bass.





Ron English with the Charles Boles Quartet performing each Tuesday at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe


Photo: John Osler




Last week, Ron handed me a copy of his mid-1970’s album Fish Feet which is being released for the first time by 180 Proof, who are releasing much of the material from the famed Detroit based label, Strata Records. 180 Proof has their catalog of 30 unreleased masters in addition to their 6 official commercial releases. Their house DJ Amir is creating appropriate remixes, restorations and covers from the Strata catalog, creating new synergy between the players of the past and the music fans of today.



Ron’s Fish Feet features 5 out 7 tracks that are originals. Band members include some of the best artists from the era.



These include the great Norma Jean Bell on Alto, Lyman Woodard on organ, George Davidson on drums, Phil Ranelin on trombone, Kenn Cox, piano, Ed Pickins bass, Danny Spencer, drums/percussion, Charles Moore, trumpet/percussion, Leonard King, percussion and Larry Nozero, tenor. The horn section used throughout consisted of Marcus Belgrave, Phil Ranelin, Norma Jean Bell, Larry Nozero, and Ralph (Busy) Jones.



The limited double vinyl LP is also being released on CD. The artwork was done by Overton Loyd best known as the artist who created covers for George Clinton including the 1978 classic “Motor Booty Affair”.






This album takes you back to a time when Jazz was starting to infuse more Soul and Funk into its sound due to the emerging popularity of these newer styles. The music is a soundprint of the sounds of Detroit Jazz in the 1970’s when the Jazz scene here was hotter than hot!


Congratulations Ron!



Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a trained pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM.


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January 10, 2017






As I am getting a little older, I find myself contemplating more and planning tasks less.


I am getting more comfortable bringing back good memories than looking at what lies ahead. This reminder of how good life can be will carry me for a while.






It was a beautiful summer day and I had a lot of outdoor projects lined up. In the morning of this near perfect day I learned that the jazz legend Ron Carter was going to be at the Dirty dog Jazz Café. He was in town and offered  to spend some time with fortunate local high school students from the Detroit Jazz Festival program. Reluctantly I said goodbye to the warm sun filled backyard. I packed up my camera,  I headed over to the Dog, and I went out of the sunshine into one of my most soul enriching experiences of 2016.




The students had arrived and set up to play some music. There was some youthful jabbering until Ron Carter arrived. Ron Carter looks as good in person as he does on his CD covers, only taller and even more elegant. He introduced himself to a suddenly very quiet group of young jazz musicians. He asked them to play and soon with some gentle nudges a relaxed band entered into a shared learning experience. Here was a player of jazz music who has had an entire  lifetime at the top of his craft listening carefully to some Detroit kids starting out. His taking the time didn’t go unnoticed.


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The next day I returned to the Dirty Dog knowing that Ron Carter was setting up for an evening gig. He was scheduled to join his pal the great guitarist Russell Malone for a special evening honoring the supporters of the Detroit Jazz Festival. I figured that they would do a quick sound check and leave. The staff was busy setting up for the guests. Tables were being arranged and covered. In the middle of this activity were two artists making music for themselves. I set my camera down as I knew that it was too loud for the occasion. Imagine being in the room with these two great artists who were spending some time quietly facing each other for almost an hour, musically surprising each other and grinning just like a couple of kids, a couple of really talented kids. It seemed like they were happily transferring a lot of knowledge. I will carry this experience with me for some time.












Ron Carter; Musician, Legend and Cass Tech Graduate


Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,000 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of music’s greats. He is a Detroiter and has that built in empathy for others that makes him a good teacher and collaborator.


Ron Carter continues  to lecture, conduct, and perform at clinics and master classes while keeping an active performing schedule.  He was Artistic Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies and has spent 18 years on the faculty of the Music Department of The City College of New York where he is now a Distinguished Professor Emeritus.



 Ron is a graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan which has been a cauldron for America’s greatest jazz musicians. He  has lived up to the expectation as an artist and as a man. When I caught up with him, it was nearly 60 years after he graduated from Cass. Here he was  gently but firmly showing our next generation how a man acts and a jazz man plays.


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Ron Carter and Russell Malone are familiar names, and it was a privilege to be in their presence. However this was just one of what is a common occurrence in Detroit’s jazz world. I have so many brilliant memories of watching musicians share and care.


John Osler






Dwight is a home grown great trumpet player who is always in demand will be playing in the intimate Dirty Dog Jazz Café. A memory in the making.




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January 3, 2017

Detroit Birthday Profile for January:  James Carter





Photo: Paul Mauriat



Detroit  saxophonist,  James Carter, was born in Detroit on January 3, 1969 and is one of the most celebrated players on the world stage. He’s not only known as a true saxophone virtuoso but also for being an innovator who has explored his own creative voice and style.
He first started playing at age 11 and was fortunate to study with East Side Middle School Jazz instructor, Donald Washington who formed the unique school ensemble “Bird-Trane- Sco-Now!”. The band name came from style makers Charlie “Bird” Parker, John Coltrane, and Roscoe Mitchell.



I saw Bird-Trane-Sco-Now perform live early on and was so impressed, I invited them to play live on my radio show at WDET-FM 101.9



Soon after, in 1981, I produced a concert with them at the New World Theater on Woodward. James was in the band at the time. He was 12. I continued to keep my eye on him and have followed his career to this day.



Other well-known musicians got their start studying with Washington, including award-winning bassist and Michigan State Jazz Director, Rodney Whitaker.






James and I in 2003 after one of our live interviews on WDET-FM.



While in high school, Carter attended the Blue Lake Fine Arts camp and became the youngest member of their faculty. They toured Scandinavia in 1985 when he was just 16. In 1988 he had an opportunity to play with acclaimed trumpeter Lester Bowie at the Detroit Institute of Arts, which put him in the national spotlight.


He then moved to New York and soon became known as one of the most aspiring young Jazz performers on an international Jazz scene, playing saxophones, flute and clarinets.



He was featured in a 1994 PBS national broadcast “Live at Lincoln Center”. Another high point came when got more international attention when he portrayed Ben Webster in Robert Altman’s, award-winning 1996, film “Kansas City”.



He began recording albums under his own name including the “Chasin’ the Gypsy” in 2000 – a tribute to Django Reinhardt, featuring his cousin, prominent Jazz violinist, Regina Carter.



Other notable recordings include “The Real Quiet Storm” (1995), “Gardenias for Lady Day” (2003), “Live at Bakers Keyboard Lounge with David Murray and Johnny Griffin” (2004).



He won Downbeat magazine’s Critics and Readers Choice award for baritone saxophone for several years in a row and has played and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgwater, The Mingus Big Band, Julius Hemphill, Frank Lowe, Kathleen Battle, The World Saxophone Quartet, Cyrus Chestnut, and many others.



His playing is the sign of true master. It’s powerful, and expressive backed up by enormous amounts of skill and musicianship. He’s the amazing James Carter.








Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a trained pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM.

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I often put things off that need to be done and some things that I would really like to do…. until next year. This week next year is a year away, meanwhile I will try to do those good things that I put off until this year. That means I should right away listen to more jazz, find reasons to laugh and tackle some personal art projects.


Every year we get a chance to start over. We get one more chance to get it right. We get a  fresh start, and at the same time we get to hold on to the good things that we already have. 2017 seems like that moment. I am looking forward to having  conversations about the coming year and the positive events as they happen. I hope to talk to and photograph those who will be helping make Detroit a better place to live. Music will continue to show us the way. There is something special happening around us in Detroit, and the Dirty Dog will be celebrating the resurgence of live music in our city with innovative programs and adventurous menus.









Again this year I will expose my weakness for jazz and all the really nice people who play the music in my home town. There will be blogs about  food. Chef André and Chef Eli will help us better understand their approach to preparing the special fare served at the Dirty Dog. They will share with us techniques, processes  and recipes.


We will explore the reasons that musicians and fans make the claim that the Dirty Dog Jazz Café is the best jazz club in America.


The creative process in the arts and music will be discussed with other artists. We will also meet many of the staff and musicians that provide such a perfect environment for all that jazz. We will continue the search to find what makes it tick.


An important ongoing story will be the growth of jazz and the incredible programs  and teachers in our schools. We will spotlight these teachers. The folks at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe will continue to do what they can to bring the story of jazz and its force to the communities.  Jazz will be in good hands in 2017.


Our community has passed through some systemic stress and we now sit at a crossroads. We have an opportunity to define our future. Jazz musicians have to have a sense of vision mixed with a solid foundation that comes from knowing your roots. I will ask Detroit artists what their vision is for Detroit and its music.




AFTER 2016 ?


In the last few years year street lights have come back on. Building cranes can be seen where only hope lived before. Ideas have started to be listened to. We have allowed ourselves to enjoy the good things that have always been here along with the shiny new things that have been added.


Ron Carter in his role as artist in residence played four gigs at the Detroit Jazz Festival last Labor day weekend. The crowds who are known for being the world’s most knowledgeable group of fans in jazz knew what they were hearing and were remarkably civil, as many had to  listen at a distance. There was no complaining, There was only appreciation. That was the kind of year it was.


We could finally afford to appreciate what we have.




2016 was an election year and we had a lot of talk about winners and losers. 2017 offers  us a chance to recover. Listening to jazz is a good way to turn your head around.  Jazz music teaches us that to succeed everyone has to be  a winner. There will be new challenges to be faced and new energy to be tapped. We will all have new stories to tell about the upbeat happenings all around us.


The Dirty Dog we will be celebrating the resurgence of live music with innovative programs and adventurous menus. The Dog will continue to be the place to unwind, to celebrate and to be reinvigorated.




John Osler




The Dirty Dog gets the year off to a fast start this week with Randy Napoleon at the wheel. Randy has guaranteed us that he will bring some mellow sounds and his magical smile to all those coming in out of the cold.



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December 29, 2016

The 2016 “Best of the Best” List:

A Definitive Guide to Some of the Best New Releases in Jazz for 2016



Alphabetical order: Artist(s) / Title / Label




Melissa Aldana / Back Home / Wommusic


Nik Bartsch’s Mobile / Continuum /ECM




John Beasley / Presents Monk’estra ” Mack Avenue


Michel Camilo and Tomatito / Spain Forever / Verve




Nels Cline / Lovers / Blue Note


Andrew Cyrille Quartet / The Declaration of Musical Independence / ECM




Thornetta Davis / Honest Woman / Self-Release


Orrin Evans / #Knowingishalfthebattle / Smoke Sessions




Chico Freeman 4-Tet / Spoken Into Existence / Jive




Kenny Garrett / Do Your Dance / Mack Avenue



Macy Gray / Stripped / Chesky




Charlie Haden – Liberation Music Orchestra / Time Life (Song for Whales and Other Beings / Impulse


Tigran Hamasyan / Atmospheres / ECM



Mette Henriette / Self-Titled / ECM




Wadada Leo Smith and Vijay Iyer/ A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke/ ECM




Charles Lloyd and the Marvels / I Long to See You /Blue Note




Manu Katche / Unstatic / Ante Prima




Julian Lage / Arclight / Mack Avenue


Bill Laurance / Aftersun / Universal




Pat Metheny / The Unity Sessions / Nonesuch


Harold Lopez-Nussa / El Viaje / Mack Avenue




Greg Porter / Take Me to the Alley / Blue Note




Logan Richardson / Shift / Blue Note




Planet D Nonet / A Salute to Strayhorn / Detroit Music Factory


Herlin Riley / New Direction /Mack Avenue


Ricky Rodriguez Group/ Looking Beyond / Destiny




Alfredo Rodriguez / Tocororo / Mack Avenue


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Dr. Lonnie Smith / Evolution / Blue Note


Snarky Puppy / Family Dinner, Volume Two / Universal


Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life / Nihil Novi / Blue Note




Throttle Elevator Music featuring Kamasi Washington / IV / Wide Hive Records



Allen Toussaint / American Tunes / Nonesuch




Anthony Wilson / Frogtown / Goat Hill




Warren Wolf / Convergence / Mack Avenue





The Jazz playlist reflects Judy Adams’ personal recommendations and does not represent those of the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe or Mack Avenue Records.




Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a trained pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM.

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December 26, 2016

New Year Friendship



 In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in need.


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2016 was a pretty good year.


It was a year of change. For many, things were getting better.  For others there was the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, a place that doesn’t chance, a place you can count on , a place where you can get lost in the music, a place  where  there is always  a parade of great musicians and satisfied customers, a place where smiles and laughter were up this past year with pure joy trending in the right direction.


Detroit continued to find new energy, and the music in the city picked up on it. In our expanding  environment we felt confident to take more risk and also to pause and enjoy life. There were transitions as we lost some notables and welcomed in some new voices.



 All in all, it was a pretty good year


Here are some things that helped to make 2016 memorable for me:



 Carl’s smile:





Andre’s food:




The Dirty Dog’s remarkably good natured staff




Detroit’s heart cried out in pain for some losses and then it sang out in joy for all their lives.


Music lost  too many artists and  innovators in 2016  including Prince and Leonard Cohen. The Dirty Dog lost two of its favorites, Mose Allison and Lynn Laplante. We know that their music lives on , but all the same… it isn’t easy





The stream of young players who have benefited from a chance to try out their chops at the Dirty Dog.



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All the times I have watched Detroit jazz fans listen with so much appreciation, knowledge and respect.






Each time I listened while an artist give back to a rapt audience.





Willie saying: DIRRRRTY DAWG!!!


Willie gently coaxes everyone at the Dog to do their best.







a deserved tribute to Gretchen Valade by her friends and fellow musicians. The first lady of Detroit jazz was given a standing ovation last Sunday at the new GETCHEN VALADE JAZZ CENTER at the Hillberry Theatre. It was her gift to Detroit.  Jazz now has a home in our city. She remains Detroit jazz’s principle advocate.







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The Dirty Dog is looking forward to being part of your New Year in 2017 and wishing that you may  have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door.



And from me,  John Osler,  Happy New Year





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December 19, 2016



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DECEMBER 26                                                               OIL/CANVAS


The Dirty Dog Jazz Café wishes all those who have come through our doors and all those who are planning to show up and all those who have the spirit of the holidays in their heart a very merry holiday.

May your heart be filled with warmth, goodwill, joy, and may you find lots of reasons to smile.




It is our good fortune to live in Detroit where one can experience one of life’s great  pleasures  –  coming in out of the cold. On one of our cold and blustery days we are fortunate to have a warm and cozy place with good food, good drink, good music and good friends to go to.





This week the Dirty Dog will be prepared to help you celebrate this glorious season. Forget about all the anxieties that tend to well up at the holidays. We will make sure that once you pass through into this cozy and comfortable place you will find a genial staff, a kindly bartender, tasty food, good fellowship and Gene Dunlap’s band, who will chase the loop of bad seasonal jingles out of your head.







Please join us at The Dirty Dog Jazz Café for our annual before Christmas smile exchange.



We hope that you will join us for an evening of good will and good fellowship at the Dirty Dog, and that you find peace and comfort in your home all through the holidays.



John Osler



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Gene Dunlap and his band will bring good cheer to the Dirty Dog this Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.



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December 15, 2016


The Blues is at the root of most musical styles created during the 20th century. Its influence is so pervasive that elements of it can be heard in virtually all styles including Country, Bluegrass, Classical and Electronic/Techno. It is also a foundational ingredient in R&B, Rock, and Jazz. Jazz though, is the genre where it most entrenched, to the point where elements of the blues can be heard in most Jazz pieces both old and new. It’s one of the key elements that our ears have come to identify with Jazz.




The idiom grew out of African American communities in the 19th century and earlier, from spirituals, work songs, and other indigenous forms. The Blues scale contains distinctive “intervals” that are a direct link to ancient pentatonic modes, (5-note scales) that originated in West and North Africa and the Middle East centuries ago. The technical name for the most common Blues scale is a “minor pentatonic with a flatted 5th”.




Jazz pioneers such as Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver used the Blues as the basis for their compositions. Jazz soon evolved, expanding into a “longer form” allowing for more improvisation and solos. Melodies were now ornamented and complex chord progressions were being introduced while preserving the blues foundation.



king oliver


King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band .   Joseph Nathan Oliver (12/19/1881- 4/10/1938) better known as King Oliver was an early Jazz cornet player and bandleader.




Jazz pioneers such as Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver used the Blues as the basis for their compositions. Jazz soon evolved, expanding into a “longer form” allowing for more improvisation and solos. Melodies were now ornamented and complex chord progressions were being introduced while preserving the blues foundation.





Pianist and composer, Thelonious Monk, drew on the Blues idiom for the majority of his compositions



Blues is still a major component of Jazz to this day and some of the most popular Jazz standards are clearly built around the blues. These include everything from Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher”, and Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” to Thelonious Monk’s “Well You Needn’t”, John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and Miles Davis’s “So What”. Other excellent examples are Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man”, Sun Ra’s “Space is the Place” and many others.



Detroit’s Blues scene goes way back and has produced many well-respected and innovative performers over the past 100 years. These include such notables as John Lee Hooker, Sippie Wallace, Little Sonny, Andre Williams, Joe Weaver, Bobo Jenkins,  Alberta Adams, Thornetta Davis and countless others.





Blues icon John Lee Hooker ( 8/22/1912–6/21/2001) was born in Mississippi but
spent many musical years in Detroit, after moving here in the 1940s to work at the Ford Motor Company.



The Dirty Dog Jazz Café has always been committed to preserving the Blues and has a long tradition of presenting Blues artists and those whose Jazz clearly reflects the Blues idiom. These include “club regulars” such as Chris Codish, Charles Boles, Dave McMurray, the late Johnnie Bassett and Detroit’s Queen of the Blues, Thornetta Davis, who is performing with her band this week (thru-Saturday 12/17/16) at the Dirty Dog.






Thornetta will be performing music from her first new album in 20 years, “Honest Woman” which she produced, and recently debuted. It’s been the “talk of the town” these days, and if you missed her release concert at the Music Hall a couple of weeks ago you surely won’t want to miss hearing her up close at the intimate setting at the Dirty Dog. Her band consists of some great players with Phil Hale on keyboards, Brett Lucas on guitar and Dave Marcaccio on drums.


For more information on Ms. Davis’s impressive professional history, go to her website:




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Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts live performances from the greatest jazz musicians across the country.
Johnny Trudell
STARTS: Wed, January 25 2017
ENDS: Sat, January 28 2017