Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Verve Jazz Masters 35
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Best overview I've found
Johnny Hodges | Clark Fork, ID United States | 02/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Obviously I'm a big JH fan. I find this (like the entire Verve Jazz Masters series) a winner on all counts: excellent remastering, a generous serving (77+ minutes), and a carefully selected cross section of the artist. Well, there is one embarrassing moment when some fool tried to make a commercial pop-sounding "Don't Sleep In The Subway" (with strings!), but it is the genius of Johnny Hodges that he even transcends the bounds of this misguided effort. If you aren't familiar with Jeep, he was the heart and soul of the Ellington horn section and on these (mostly) small group offerings you will be treated to the sweetest sound ever coaxed from an alto sax while never sounding syrupy or maudlin. And he can (seemingly) effortlessly slide from his sweet sound to his more powerful blowing. These Verve sessions from the 50's feature the alto master in his prime, with work featuring Ben Webster, Roy Eldridge, Hank Jones, Dizzy Gillespi, Charlie Parker, Benny Carter, along with the usual Ellington sidemen. "The Last Time I Saw Paris" is particularly goose flesh inducing. Criminal of Verve to let this one go out of print; buy from "new and used" before this title disappears!
Update: I notice this has gone "not in stock". For a different but good survey CD of Hodges small group work try On the Way Up 1965-1967. Be advised that Mosaic Records has a boxed set of all Hodges Verve small group sessions. Expen$ive, but awesome. Available only at their web site."
Best portrait of Rabbit since WW2 on a single disk
bukhtan | Chicago, Illinois, USA | 12/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though this CD of course is limited to material owned by Verve, it nonetheless offers a sometimes surprising overview of Johnny Hodges in the latter half of his career. We get a great variety of ensemble shapes, some loosely tethered to Duke by the presence of Strayhorn, some not. The CD climaxes with an extraordinary performance of the Blanton era vintage "Squaty Roo", performed by the Jeep with Dizzy Gillespie in 1959 or so, featuring Les Spann, among others. Hodges was the embodiment of Swing, and simultaneously a blues player unexcelled. Here, he stays totally abreast of Dizzy, the most agile and postclassical of all jazz musicians, but with a hint of bemusement, reminiscent of the distance he ostentated in the presence of Duke Ellington. What a mystery of a musician, at once skeptical and emotive, with the power of a natural force!
Liner notes by David Hajdu, author of the Billy Strayhorn bio "Lush Life""