Pianist Dorothy Donegan in Concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1987 With her are bassist Major Holly and drummer Oliver Jackson.
From the "Last Post"
The death of Dorothy Donegan this past spring (May 19, age 76, Los Angeles) was lamentably largely ignored by the press and the jazz media as they did regrettably throughout most of the pianist's lifetime. The AP wire did give the indomitable artist lead preference in its daily obits round-up and the New York Times, with its promise of "All the News That's Fit to Print," gave Dorothy her due, including a one-column candid photo of the pianist in performance, and jazz author Chip Deffaa warmly recalled her "strength, energy, and imagination" in his New York Post column.
Interestingly, though, Times jazz scribe Ben Ratliff quoted his noted jazz predecessor, John S. Wilson's coverage of a Town Hall appearance in 1971 citing that '"Ms. Donegan showed a technical virtuosity that could be compared only to that of Art Tatum and a swinging drive that might be equaled by Mary Lou Williams." Oddly omitted was the Wilson quote that Donegan carried ever closest to her heart, ". . . She is potentially the greatest jazz pianist playing today." A reflection on this comment comes into focus with Chip Deffaa recalling in his obit, "She was probably the only jazz artist who, in the 1990's, could somehow satisfy the very different audiences of the Village Vanguard (the high temple of jazz purism) and the Tavern on the Green (the glitzy tourist nightspot) - both of which she loved."