Includes a 16-page booklet with recording details, extensive notes and rare photos.
Johnny Hodges, the most distinctive and eloquent voice of the Duke Ellington boys, is the leader of these great 1958 sessions (without Duke), but with Billy Strayhorn, Dukes alter ego on piano, and featuring such greats as Roy Eldridge and Ben Webster. Primarily noted for his ballads, Hodges could blow soft as a whisper or loud as a trumpet, but never forfeits his major concerns, excitement, taste and restraint, delivering pure quality with moving simplicity. The warmest saxophonist of them all is a frequently quoted and fulsome description of Johnny Hodges that has never, to anyones knowledge, been disputed.
01. Blues a Plenty (3:23)
02. Cool Your Motor (3:37)
03. Gone with the Wind (3:18)
04. Honey Hill (4:03)
05. I Didnt Know About You (3:32)
06. Satin Doll (5:01)
07. Reelin and Rockin (9:35)
08. Dont Take Your Love from Me (3:39)
09. Saturday Afternoon Blues (5:59)
10. Just a Memory (5:52)
11. Lets Fall in Love (6:46)
12. Big Shoe (5:33)
13. Ruint (2:32)
14. Bend One (2:58)
15. You Need to Rock (5:52)
01. M.H.R (5:58)
02. Broadway Babe (2:43)
03. Three and Six (2:20)
04. Not so Dukish (7:51)
05. Central Park Swing (3:24)
06. Preacher Blues (8:22)
07. Jeep Bounced Back (3:35)
08. The Last Time I Saw Paris (2:53)
09. Rosanne (3:08) (*) Bonus Track
10. This Love of Mine (3:07) (*) Bonus Track
11. Hodge Podge (3:36) (*) Bonus Track
12. Jappa 3 (3:53) (*) Bonus Track
13. Through for the Night (3:18) (*) Bonus Track
14. Come Sunday (2:32) (*) Bonus Track
15. The Sheik of Araby (3:15) (*) Bonus Track
16. Latino (2:55) (*) Bonus Track
17. In a Mellow Tone (6:18) (*) Bonus Track
18. I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (3:08) (*) Bonus Track
19. Dont Get Around Much Anymore (3:45) (*) Bonus Track
CD 1, tracks #1-9 from the album:
"Blues-a-Plenty" (Verve MGV-8358)
CD 1, tracks #10-15 from the album:
"Side By Side" (Verve MGV-8345)
CD 2, tracks #1-8 from the album:
"Not So Dukish" (Verve MGV-8355)
CD 2, tracks #9-19 are bonus tracks.
Personnel on "Blues-a-Plenty":
Roy Eldridge (tp), Vic Dickenson (tb), Johnny Hodges (as), Ben Webster (ts), Billy Strayhorn (p), Jimmy Woode (b) and Sam Woodyard (d). Recorded in New York City, on April 5, 1958.
Personnel on "Side By Side":
Roy Eldridge (tp), Lawrence Brown (tb), Johnny Hodges (as), Ben Webster (ts), Billy Strayhorn (p), Jimmy Woode, Wendell Marshall (b) and Jo Jones (d). Recorded in New York City, on August 14, 1958.
Personnel on "Not So Dukish":
Roy Eldridge, Ray Nance (tp), Lawrence Brown (tb), Johnny Hodges (as), Ben Webster (ts), Billy Strayhorn (p), Jimmy Woode (b) and Sam Woodyard (d). Recorded in New York City, on September 10, 1958.
(*) This set also contains, as a bonus, three of the most consistently rewarding small Hodges units featuring Ben Websterrecorded between 1952-1954 and roughly patterned after Rabbit Hodges classic combos of the 40s.
Personnel on tracks #9-12: Emmett Berry (tp), Lawrence Brown (tb), Johnny Hodges (as), Ben Webster (ts), Leroy Lovett (p), Red Callender (b) and J.C. Heard (d). Al Hibbler (vcl on #10). Recorded in Los Angeles, California, on July 22, 1952.
Personnel on tracks #13-16: Emmett Berry (tp), Lawrence Brown (tb), Johnny Hodges (as), Ben Webster, Rudy Williams (ts), Ted Brannon (p), Barney Richmond (b) and Al Walker (d). Recorded in New York City, on December 11, 1952.
Personnel on tracks #17-19: Emmett Berry (tp), Lawrence Brown (tb), Johnny Hodges (as), Ben Webster (ts), Leroy Lovett (p), Lloyd Trotman (b) and Osie Johnson (d). Recorded in New York City, on April 9, 1954.
Original recordings produced by Norman Granz.
This compilation produced by Jordi Pujol.
"As Duke Ellington's altoist during 1928-51 and 1955-70, Johnny Hodges became world famous and beloved by jazz fans. His luscious tone and melodic style on ballads, blues and swing tunes was highly influential, making him the top altoist (along with Benny Carter) before the rise of Charlie Parker. Hodges led quite a few sessions of his own along the way,. During 1951-55 broke away from Ellington to lead his own combo, before returning for another 15 years.
While Mosaic previously released Hodges' solo recordings of the 1950s on two box sets, those are long out of print. Fresh Sound has come out with four reissues dating from that era. Not So Dukish (FSR 574) from 1958 is also a two-CD set and is a high-quality grab-bag. The first CD (taken from Blues A Plenty and Side By Side) has Hodges playing in an all-star septet with trumpeter Roy Eldridge, trombonist Lawrence Brown and tenor-saxophonist Ben Webster; plenty of fireworks take place. The second disc has eight songs from a similar group (with both Eldridge and Ray Nance on trumpets) plus 11 numbers from 1952-54 that team together Hodges and Webster."
Scott Yanow -Los Angeles Jazz Scene (May, 2010)