John Dengler and the Deer Head Inn

In an article here from 2020, I talked about the legacy of the Deer Head Inn in a small burg of northeast Pennsylvania called Delaware Water Gap. Through the doors of this restaurant/inn/gathering place for jazz have walked countless jazz musicians with many more following in their footsteps. Greats from Phil Woods (who lived just yards away) and David Liebman (local as well) to Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Urbie Green, Stan Getz, Keith Jarrett, Bill Charlap, Pat Metheny, David “Fathead” Newman, Nancy and Spencer Reed, Jay Rattman… the list is a breathtaking whirlwind that continues today.

One such musician, John Dengler, held court there in 1951. Dengler was an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (trumpet and cornet, sax, trombone and tuba) who made a few recordings.

The joy of this blog, aside from sharing news of the jazz world as well as its rich history, is when music lovers reach out to share their experiences with this very American art form. Recently, John Dengler’s nephew Reese Dengler wrote to say, “I thought you might be interested in a couple of early recordings by my uncle that I have placed on YouTube.” The links follow. Up for some quick, hot jazz?

With thanks to Reese Dengler. Photo credit unknown.

(c) 2022 Debbie Burke

Tasty Jazz Jams for Our Times, Vol. 2 is out!

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