Johnny Hodges Returns!
D. J. Zabriskie | Park Ridge, NJ USA | 04/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Hodges returns to Duke's band after a 5 year absence and just blows everybody away! Highlights include what may be Hodges' most seductive, sensual solo ever on "Prelude to a Kiss," and an incredibly salty, greasy blues solo on "Long Time Blues," which shows why B. B. King was such an admirer of Johnny Hodges. All the solos on "Long Time Blues" are exemplary, as Hodges gives way to Ray Nance, followed by an astounding solo by Harry Carney. Jimmy Hamilton brings it all to a close with a breathtaking clarinet solo. There is much good stuff to listen to from Ray Nance and Clark Terry throughout. Paul Gonsalves shines brilliantly on "Satin Doll," and "Moon Mist" features the kind of Ellington harmonies that will leave even the most formally trained wondering "What's THAT chord?" for days. Unfortunately, "Do Not Disturb" and "Love You Madly" proove to be little more than filler here, but the rest of the titles show Duke to being using his band to its best abilities, just a few months before they made jazz history at Newport."