Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Vol. 2-Feat Grant Green-Joe's Blues
Second installment in this four volume series from the celebrated jazzmen with deep Blues roots, a prolific musical team with exquisite chemistry. Volume Two includes the two complete albums Joe's Blues and Wings & Things... more »
Second installment in this four volume series from the celebrated jazzmen with deep Blues roots, a prolific musical team with exquisite chemistry. Volume Two includes the two complete albums Joe's Blues and Wings & Things, in which guitarist Grant Green plays with the two masters. Lonehill.
NEARLY INDISPENSABLE JOHNNY HODGES & WILD BILL DAVIS
W. BUTLER | NEVADA USA | 04/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No true Johnny Hodges/Wild Bill Davis fans should forgo buying ALL 5 of the CD's Lonehill has devoted to their complete oeuvre. But although there are many great Hodges solos on "Joe's Blues" this is the last of the 5 they need to buy.
To have 2 vinyl records on one CD is normally a cause for celebratation. But with only 16 minutes per side neither of these albums got close to the joie de vivre they established on "Blue Hodge". Reinforcing my view that in 1965 they and their Verve producer Creed Taylor were "spinning their wheels". Why else would they add Lawrence Brown? Who gives both LP's a 50's distinct Hodges small group feel. I.e. the mood on most tracks is barely distinguishable from Hodges's huge inventory from 1951-58.
Wild Bill is not exactly shut out but Brown's presence means he has far fewer alternating solos with Hodges - nor can he play too loud in his powerful orchestral manner for fear of drowning Brown's subtle trombone. With only 4 numbers on each side Hodges's slow ballads often run back-to-back - which never does him a favour. A certain gloom prevailed during these recording sessions - as it did on their next and last Verve LP "Blue Pyramid".
Why so many "downers"? Were they forced on Hodges by Creed Taylor? I only ask because a year later on a French Verve Duke Ellinton "Antibes Concert" LP Johnny Hodges blows the hottest imaginable 9-minute solo on "The Old Circus Train Turn-around Blues". Demonstrating he was the only soloist in Duke's band with the ablility to "turn-on" audiences with both SLOW and HOT long solos. Yet, at this concert (and a thousand others since 1965) Paul Gonsalves went forward to incite a riot with his "wailing interval" and as always dismally failed. One guesses the only reason Ellington persevered with Gonsalves was because the rest of the band would have mutinied had Hodges been allowed to give the patrons what they really wanted. Six varied solos - 3 before intermission - and 3 after.
It's surely not coincidental when they moved from Verve to RCA Victor (without Lawrence Brown) they instantly rekindled their "magic swinging touch" with an inspired choice of 10 perfectly sequenced fast and slow tunes on "Con-soul and Sax". Nevertheless for Lonehill to make both these intermediate LP's available in digital sound is both unexpected and very welcome. It just happens the other 4 CD's are in another league."