Portrait of Johnny Hodges, Pt. I (Podcast #18-020)

Johnny Hodges one of the most unique voices in jazz, graced the Ellington band for almost 40 years.
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“As a youngster, Johnny Hodges was a saxophonist in Boston whose style, in the estimation of all other alto saxophonists, was unique. Even now, I have never yet met and don’t know of a saxophonist who didn’t say he was knocked out by Johnny Hodges”

-Duke Ellington, Music is my Mistress


Johnny-Hodges


Mark Sowlakis‘ blog post on Johnny Hodges, which features several transcriptions, can be found at this link


birth record.jpg

Birth record for Cornelius Hodge


JH social security

Johnny Hodge(s)’ application for a Social Security Number


Ellington-stars-001

Cootie Williams, Harry Carney and Johnny Hodges – 1938


jh001


ben and bird and rabbit

Ben Webster, Charlie Parker, and Johnny Hodges – 1952



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

early ellington

Tishomingo Blues (CD: “Early Ellington – The Complete Brunswick and Vocalion Recordings of Duke Ellington, 1926-1931” Decca/MCA Records GRD-3-640)

Recorded 25 June 1928, New York City

James “Bubber” Miley – trumpet; Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Freddy Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


dukes men vol 2

Jeep’s Blues (CD: “The Duke’s Men, Volume 2” Columbia Jazz Masterpieces C2K 48835)

Recorded 28 March 1938, New York City

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Lawrence Brown – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.

The Jeep Is Jumpin’

Recorded 24 August 1938, New York City

Same personnel as “Jeep’s Blues”


cotton club volume 1

Ridin’ on a Blue Note (CD: “Cotton Club 1938, Volume 1” Galaxy Music 3801122)

Recorded 1 May 1938, New York City

Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Billy Taylor – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


hamptonOn the Sunny Side of the Street (CD: “The Complete Lionel Hampton Victor Sessions 1937-1941” Mosaic Records MD5-238)

Recorded 26 April 1937, New York City

Lionel Hampton – vibraphone, vocal; Buster Bailey – clarinet; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Jess Stacy – piano; Allan Reuss -guitar; John Kirby – bass; Cozy Cole -drums.


indiana live 1945On the Sunny Side of the Street (LP: “Indiana Live Session, June 1945” Musidisc ‎– JA 5135)

Recorded 16 June 1945, Evansville, Indiana

Cat Anderson, Ray Nance, Rex Stewart, Shelton Hemphill, Taft Jordan – trumpet; Claude Jones, Joe Nanton, Lawrence Brown – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Jimmy Hamilton, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


Highlights

(CD: “Highlights of the Great 1940-1942 Band” Avid AMSC1143)

Blue Goose

Recorded 28 May 1940, Chicago

Wallace Jones, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Johnny Hodges, Barney Bigard, Ben Webster, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Jimmie Blanton – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.

In A Mellotone

Recorded 5 September 1940, Chicago

Same personnel as “Blue Goose”

The Giddybug Gallop 

Recorded 5 June 1941, Los Angeles

Same personnel as “Blue Goose” except Ray Nance replaces Cootie Williams


51zUtj5ZE1L._SY355_Mood to be Woo’ed (CD: “Duke Ellington And His Orchestra – 1943 & 1945 Volume Three” Circle ‎– CCD-103)

Recorded 2 January 1945, New York City

Cat Anderson, Ray Nance, Rex Stewart, Shelton Hemphill, Taft Jordan – trumpet; Claude Jones, Joe Nanton, Lawrence Brown – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Jimmy Hamilton, Al Sears, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Junior Raglin – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


R-5778135-1402400451-8288.jpegCastle Rock (CD: “Johnny Hodges – Seven Classic Albums” Real Gone ‎– RGJCD312)

Recorded 3 March 1951, New York City

Emmett Berry – trumpet; Lawrence Brown – trombone; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Al Sears – tenor sax; Leroy Lovett – piano; Lloyd Trotman – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


first giant steps

In A Mellow Tone (CD: John Coltrane “First Giant Steps” RLR Records, RLR 88619)

Recorded June 1954, Los Angeles

Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Harold “Shorty” Baker – trumpet; Lawrence Brown – trombone; John Coltrane – tenor sax; Cal Cobbs (?) – piano; Joe Williams – bass; Joe Marshall – drums.


Parker

What is this Thing Called Love (CD: Charlie Parker “Jam Session” Verve Records ‎– 833 564-2)

Recorded July 1952, Los Angeles

Charlie Shavers – trumpet; Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, Charlie Parker – alto sax; Ben Webster, Flip Phillips – tenor sax; Oscar Peterson – piano; Barney Kessell – guitar; Ray Brown – bass; J. C. Heard – drums.


— Our closing music —-

0000120517

It’s Something You Ought To Know (Paul Gonsalves – “Ellingtonia Moods and Blues,” RCA Victor / RCA63562)

Recorded 29 February 1960, New York City

Paul Gonsalves- tenor sax; Johnny Hodges – alto sax; Ray Nance – cornet; Mitchell “Booty” Wood – trombone; Jimmy Jones – piano; Al Hall – bass; Oliver Jackson – drums.

 

Beyond the Usual Suspects, Again (Podcast #18-006)

Another survey of Ellington covers – beyond those you usually hear. Continue reading

Most Duke Ellington tribute concerts and recordings rely on just a handful of his compositions (Mood IndigoSatin DollIn A Sentimental Mood, etc.). The Duke Ellington Society refers  to these songs as “the usual suspects.” While they are worthy of their status as standards, Ellington wrote thousands of compositions; there is plenty of his oeuvre that is ripe for exploration!

Duke Ellington performs  The Perfume Suite with some animated friends



The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



 

 

mosaic

Skrontch (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosiac Records #248)

Recorded 21 December 1936 in Los Angeles

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Pete Clark – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Hayes Alvis – bass; Sonny Greer – drums; Ivie Anderson – vocal.


 

fats

Skrontch (CD: “Fats Waller, Volume 4 of the Complete Recorded Works” JSP Records JSP77192D)

Recorded 12 April 1938 in New York City

Fats Waller – piano, vocal; Herman Autrey, John Hamilton, Nathaniel Williams – trumpet; George Robinson, John Haughton – trombones; William Alsop, James Powell, Fred Skerritt – alto sax; Gene Sedric, Lonnie Symons – tenor sax; Albert Casey – guitar; Cedric Wallace – bass; Slick Jones – drums.


 

 

mosaic

Black Butterfly (CD: “The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” Mosiac Records #248)

Recorded 21 December 1936 in Los Angeles

Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol – trombone; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Pete Clark – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – guitar; Hayes Alvis – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

zoot

Black Butterfly  (CD: “Passion Flower – Zoot Sims plays Duke Ellington” Pablo OJCCD-939-2)

Recorded 10/11 December 1979 in Los Angeles

Zoot Sims – tenor sax; Bobby Bryant, Oscar Brashear, Al Aarons, Earl Gardner – trumpet; J.J. Johnson, Britt Woodman, Grover Mitchell, Benny Powell – trombone; Marshal Royal, Buddy Collette, Plas Johnson, Frank Wess – reeds; Jimmy Rowles – piano; John Collins – guitar; Andy Simpkins – bass; Grady Tate – drums.


 

works of duke vol. 1

Blue Bubbles  (LP: “The Works of Duke, Volume 1” French RCA 731043)

Recorded 19 December 1927 in New York City

Bubber Miley, Louis Metcalfe – trumpet; Joseph “Tricky Sam” Nanton – trombone; Otto Hardwicke, Harry Carney, Rudy Jackson – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Fred Guy – banjo; Wellman Braud – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


 

bug music

Blue Bubbles (CD: “Bug Music” Nonesuch 79438-2)

Recorded May 1996 in New York City

Don Byron – clarinet; Uri Caine – piano.


 

Girls Suite

Strange Feeling  (LP: “The Girl’s Suite and The Perfume Suite” Columbia  C38028)

Recorded 1 June 1961 in New York City

Cat Anderson, Willie Cook, Ray Nance, Ed “Moon” Mullens – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Lou Blackburn, Chuck Connors – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Aaron Bell – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums; Milt Grayson – vocal.


 

newtonStrange Feeling  (CD: “The African Flower – The Music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn” )

Recorded 24/25 June 1985 in New York City

James Newton – flute; John Blake – violin; Olu Dara – cornet; Arthur Blythe – alto sax; Sir Jay Hoggard – vibraphone; Roland Hanna – piano; Rick Rozie – bass; Pheeroan Ak Laff – drums; Anthony Brown – percussion; Milt Grayson – vocal.


 

Girls Suite

Dancers In Love  (LP: “The Girl’s Suite and The Perfume Suite” Columbia  C38028)

Recorded 9 December 1957 in New York City

Cat Anderson, Harold “Shorty” Baker, Ray Nance – trumpet; Quentin Jackson, Britt Woodman, John Sanders – trombone; Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Jimmy Hamilton, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; Jimmy Woode – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums; Milt Grayson – vocal.


 

swing reunions

Dancers In Love  (CD: “Swing Reunion” Book-of-the-Month Records 71-7024)

Recorded 1/2 March 1985 at Town Hall in New York City

Red Norvo – vibraphone


 

virgin islands

Virgin Jungle (CD: “Concert in the Virgin Islands” Collectables 6734)

Recorded 14 April 1965 in Chicago

Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Richard Williams – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; John Lamb – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.


 

lacy the door

Virgin Jungle (CD: “The Door” Novus 3049-2-N)

Recorded 4/5 July 1988 in Paris

Steve Lacy, Steve Potts – soprano sax; Irene Aebi – violin; Bobby Few – piano; Jean-Jacques Avinel – bass; Sam Woodyard, Oliver Johnson – drums.

Portrait of Ben Webster, Pt. II (Podcast #18-003)

A look at the music of Ben Webster after his tenure with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Continue reading

“He was considered the supreme ballad master. As great as Prez, Hawk and Byas were, they all had to take a back seat to Ben on ballads. Ben almost had a monopoly on the pretty ones. His breathy, whispy [sic] style, coupled with a most distinct tone enabled him to get an effect of a violin sound in his upper register playing. And when he would manipulate down to the lower register, he would nearly blow you out of your mind.”

-Bernard Montgomery



ben webster late




Alum

 Jet Magazine, 24 July 1958


BW website

Screenshot from The Official Ben Webster website





websterbenjamim

 Ben Webster’s ashes are buried at Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen


The recordings heard on this podcast episode:



atmosphere

Blue Light (LP: “Atmosphere for Lovers and Thieves” Black Lion Records 65117)

Recorded September 1965, Copenhagen

Ben Webster, Ole Kongsted – tenor sax; Arnved Meyer – trumpet; John Darville – trombone; Niels Jorgen Steen – piano; Henrik Hartmann – bass; Hans Nymand – drums.


bw with strings

What Am I Here For? (CD: “Music for Loving” Verve 314 527 774-2)

Recorded 9 September 1955, New York City

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Al Epstein, Danny Bank – reeds; Harold Colletta, Martin Donegan, Leo Kruczek, Harry Lookofsky, Eugene Orloff, Tosha Samaroff, Paul Winter – violin; Burt Fisch – viola; Abram Boradkin, George Ricci, Lucien Schmitt – cello; Hank Jones – piano; Chet Amsterdam, Wendell Marshall – bass; Osie Johnson – drums; Ralph Burns – arranger, conductor.

My Funny Valentine

Recorded 30 March 1954, New York City

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Teddy Wilson – piano; Ray Brown – bass; Jo Jones – drums.


BW emarcy

Pouting/The Iron Hat (CD: “The Complete Ben Webster on EmArcy” EmArcy 824 836-2(1))

Recorded 23 January 1953, New York City

Don Elliot – trumpet, mellophone; Eddie Bert – trombone; Sam Rubinowitch – alto sax, piccolo; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Sidney Brown – baritone sax; Billy Taylor – piano; Milt Hinton – bass; Jo Jones – drums; Johnny Richards – arranger.


 

See_You_at_the_Fair

In a Mellow Tone / The Single Petal of a Rose (CD: “See You At The Fair” Impulse! GRD-121)

Recorded 11 March 1964, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Hank Jones – piano; Richard Davis – bass; Osie Johnson -drums.


Ben-Webster-Meets-Don-Byas-cover

Caravan (CD: “Ben Webster meets Don Byas” Verve 827920-2)

Recorded 1/2 February 1968, Villingen, Black Forest, Germany

Ben Webster, Don Byas – tenor sax; Tete Montoliu – piano; Peter Trunk – bass; Albert “Tootie” Heath – drums.


ben and bean

It Never Entered My Mind (CD: “Coleman Hawkins encounters Ben Webster” Verve 9884036)

Recorded 16 October 1957, Los Angeles

Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins – tenor sax; Oscar Peterson – piano; Herb Ellis – guitar; Ray Brown – bass; Alvin Stoller – drums.


side by side

Just A Memory (CD: “Johnny Hodges and Duke Ellington – Side by Side” PolyGram
5214052)

Recorded 14 August 1958, New York City

Johnny Hodges – alto saxophone; Roy Eldridge – trumpet; Lawrence Brown – trombone; Ben Webster – tenor saxophone; Billy Strayhorn – piano; Wendell Marshall – bass; Jo Jones – drums.


king of the tenors

That’s All (CD: “King of the Tenors” Verve 314 519 806-2)

Recorded 8 December 1953, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Harry “Sweets” Edison – trumpet; Benny Carter – alto sax; Oscar Peterson – piano; Herb Ellis – guitar; Ray Brown – bass; Alvin Stoller – drums.


ben and art tatum

Gone with the Wind (CD: “The Tatum Group Masterpieces” Pablo J33J 20034)

Recorded 11 September 1956, Los Angeles

Ben Webster – tenor sax; Art Tatum – piano; Red Callender – bass; Bill Douglass – drums.


slim gaillard

Potato Chips (CD: Slim Gaillard, “Laughing in Rhythm: The Best of the Verve Years” Verve 314 521 651-2)

Recorded 1952, New York City

Slim Gaillard – vocal; Ben Webster – tenor sax; others unknown.


newport

C Jam Blues/Chelsea Bridge (LP: Various Artists, “Newport Jazz Festival Live (Unreleased Highlights from 1956, 1958, 1963”) Columbia C2 38262)

Recorded 4 July 1958 live at The Newport Jazz Festival

Cootie Williams – trumpet; Rex Stewart – cornet; Tyree Glenn – trombone; Hilton Jefferson – alto sax; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Billy Strayhorn – piano; Oscar Pettiford – bass; Sonny Greer – drums.


ella and duke

All Too Soon (CD: “Ella & Duke at The Cote D’Azur” PolyGram 539030)
Recorded 29 July 1966, Juan-les-Pins, France

Ray Nance – trumpet, violin; Ben Webster – tenor sax; Cat Anderson, Herbie Jones, Mercer Ellington – trumpet; Lawrence Brown, Buster Cooper, Chuck Connors – trombone; Jimmy Hamilton, Russell Procope, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Harry Carney – reeds; Duke Ellington – piano; John Lamb – bass; Sam Woodyard – drums.