dust to dust: saluting joel dorn
Joel Dorn, who was one hell of a record producer and a dear friend, died yesterday of a heart attack at 65.
Joel loved good music, knew it when he heard it -- from Roberta Flack to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the Allman Brothers to Max Roach, and on and on.
Joel was a hoops man. Knew the game, loved it. And he heard the music in bouncing balls and sneaker-on-wood squeaks.
Once, a long time ago, he got percussionist Ralph MacDonald all excited with his idea of recording a jazz album with basketball dribbling as its rhythm track. Never happened, but it sounded like a good idea to me. Another time, more recent, after stepping into the same elevator as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he talked the Hall of Fame center into writing liner notes for Monk Round The World, a CD of rare Thelonious Monk recordings.
Joel kept it simple. Once, nearly 20 years ago, while researching a Down Beat story on a then-new concept of boxed-set from-the vaults reissues, I called up a bunch of producers. After a few schooled me in remastering techniques and ways to "clean up" old tracks, I got to Joel. "We just blow off the dust," he said.
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