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.
Total time: 149:06 min.
01. Blues a Plenty (Johnny Hodges) 3:23
02. Cool Your Motor (Johnny Hodges) 3:37
03. Gone with the Wind (Magidson-Wrubel) 3:18
04. Honey Hill (Johnny Hodges) 4:03
05. I Didn't Know About You (Ellington-Russell) 3:32
06. Satin Doll (Duke Ellington) 5:01
07. Reelin' and Rockin' (Johnny Hodges) 9:35
08. Don't Take Your Love from Me (Henry Nemo) 3:39
09. Saturday Afternoon Blues (Johnny Hodges) 5:59
10. Just a Memory (DeSylva-Brown-Henderson) 5:52
11. Let's Fall in Love (Arlen-Koehler) 6:46
12. Big Shoe (Jimmy Hamilton) 5:33
13. Ruint (Ellington-Hodges) 2:32
14. Bend One (Johnny Hodges) 2:58
15. You Need to Rock (Johnny Hodges) 5:52
01. M.H.R (Hodges-Strayhorn) 5:58
02. Broadway Babe (Hodges-Ellington) 2:43
03. Three and Six (BIlly Strayhorn) 2:20
04. Not so Dukish (Jimmy Woods) 7:51
05. Central Park Swing (Jimmy Hamilton) 3:24
06. Preacher Blues (Johnny Hodges) 8:22
07. Jeep Bounced Back (Johnny Hodges) 3:35
08. The Last Time I Saw Paris (Kern-Hammerstein II) 2:53
09. Rosanne (Manning-Osser) 3:08 *
10. This Love of Mine (Sinatra-Parker-Sannicola) 3:07 *
11. Hodge Podge (Hodges-Ellington) 3:36 *
12. Jappa (Johnny Hodges) 3:53 *
13. Through for the Night (Trummy Young) 3:18 *
14. Come Sunday (Duke Ellington) 2:32 *
15. The Sheik of Araby (Smith-Wheeler-Snyder) 3:15 *
16. Latino (Johnny Hodges) 2:55 *
17. In a Mellow Tone (Duke Ellington) 6:18 *
18. I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (Nemo-Redman-Mills) 3:08 *
19. Dont Get Around Much Anymore (Ellington-Russell) 3:45 *
(*) Bonus Tracks
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), Sam Woodyard (d).
Recorded in New York City, 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), Jo Jones (d).
Recorded in New York City, 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), Sam Woodyard (d).
Recorded in New York City, September 10, 1958
(*) This set also contains, as a bonus, three of the most consistently rewarding small Hodges units featuring Ben Webster, recorded 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), J.C. Heard (d). Al Hibbler (vcl on #10).
Recorded in Los Angeles, California, 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), Al Walker (d).
Recorded in New York City, 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 liner notes by Nat Hentoff & Leonard Feather
Original recordings produced by Norman Granz
This compilation produced by Jordi Pujol
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.
"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 (FSRCD 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)