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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Textures - Bill Dobbins

The Bill Dobbins Jazz Orchestra
Advent Cleveland, OH 5003

According to the jacket notes "Textures" was commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts in 1969.

I don't normally look for jazz LPs, but I was drawn to the funky 70s cover art. Apparently this LP is  obscure and I found just one other copy online. I also found a Bill Dobbins, jazz composer and pianist online. This work in not on his list of "recordings". But there is a photograph of him printed on a slip sheet found inside the jacket.  Apparently this record was made when Dobbins was in his mid-20s.

Textures is the "A" side, however, by way of posting a sample, I'm going with "The Balcony", the second track found on the B side. "The Balcony" was inspired by The Kent State University shooting, according to the jacket notes. And, at the very least, this song seems to have made a big impression on Chris Colombi, Jr., Jazz Critic for The Cleveland Plain Dealer (author of the jacket notes).


  1. Interesting record. Too erratic musically for my taste but the cover is fab!

  2. Do you have more tracks from this record? I'm very interested!

  3. Thanks for your interest. For a number of reasons I don't often post entire LPs. In this case, I picked the track that I found the most unique.

  4. Bill Dobbins was a student at Kent State and formed the schools first Jazz Ensemble. The band on the Textures album is really the Kent State Jazz Ensemble, but they didn't use the name because Bill had left Kent before it was released. He went on to direct the Eastman School of Music Jazz Ensemble where he still teaches today. Chas Baker, who played trombone on the Textures album is currently director of the Jazz Ensemble at Kent State.

  5. Bill Dobbins is my uncle. I found your website while browsing my uncle's music online. I think he would appreciate your blog and your selection from this record. As a side note, I grew up hearing the story of how my mother and aunt fearfully left to pick Bill up from campus on the day of the shootings...the song was definitely written to honor those lost and left a huge impression on many of us.


Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!