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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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DUKE ELLINGTON /
JOHNNY HODGES

Back to Back /
Side by Side

Poll Winners Records
PWR 27355

 

 

CD1

Back to Back

1. Wabash Blues

2. Basin Street Blues

3. Beale Street Blues

4. Weary Blues

5. St. Louis Blues

6. Loveless Love

7. Royal Garden Blues

Bonus Tracks

8. Villes Ville is the Place, Man

9. Brown Penny

10. Sentimental Lady (aka I Didn’t Know About You)

11. Smada

12. The Swinger’s Jump

13. The Swingers Get the Blues Too

14. Blues in Blueprint

15. Three J’s Blues

16. C Jam Blues


Harry Edison - Trumpet

Johnny Hodges – Alto sax

Duke Ellington – Piano (tracks 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16)

Les Spann – Guitar (tracks 1-7)

Jo Jones – Drums (tracks 1-7)

Sam Jones – Bass (tracks 2, 3, 5-7)

Al Hall - Bass (tracks 1, 4)

Ray Nance – Trumpet, violin (tracks 8-16)

Quentin Jackson – Trombone (track 8)

Britt Woodman – Trombone (tracks 8-16)

John Sanders – Trombone (track 8)

Harry Carney (tracks 8-16)

Jimmy Woode – Bass (tracks 8-16)

Sam Woodyard – Drums (track 8)

Booty Wood – Trombone (tracks 9-16)

Matthew Gee – Trombone (tracks 9-16)

Jimmy Hamilton – Clarinet, tenor sax (tracks 9-16)

Russell Procope – Clarinet, alto sax (tracks 9-16)

Paul Gonsalves – Tenor sax (tracks 9-16)

Billy Strayhorn – Piano (tracks 3, 5-9, 11, 14)

Jimmy Johnson – Drums (tracks 9-16)


CD2

Side by Side

1. Stompy Jones

2. Squeeze Me

3. Big Shoe

4. Going Up

5. Just a Memory

6. Let’s Fall in Love

7. Ruint

8. Bend One

9.You Need to Rock

Bonus Tracks

10. M.H.R.

11. Three and Six

12. Not So Dukish

13. Central Park Swing

14. Preacher Blues

15. The Last Time I Saw Paris


Johnny Hodges – Alto sax

Jo Jones – Drums (tracks 1-9)

Duke Ellington – Piano

Harry Edison – Trumpet (tracks 1-9)

Al Hall – Bass (tracks 1, 2, 4)

Les Spann – Guitar, flute (tracks 1, 2, 4)

Ben Webster – Tenor sax (tracks 10-15)

Roy Eldridge – Trumpet (tracks 3, 5-15)

Lawrence Brown – Trombone (tracks 3, 5-15)

Jimmy Hamilton- Clarinet (tracks 10, 13-15)

Billy Strayhorn – Piano (tracks 3, 5-15)

Sam Woodyard – Drums (tracks 10-15)


I reviewed these CDs in 2015, but they at least deserve a look at the bonus tracks. The added tracks were recorded in 1958 and 1959, the same years when the two main albums were recorded.

Tracks 9 to 16 on the first CD use a larger group than the main albums, with three trombones adding touches of what sounds like orchestration. Sentimental Lady (aka I Didn’t Know About You) is a neglected but beautiful tune composed by Ellington, and it gives Johnny Hodges the chance to play at his most rhapsodic. In fact Hodges is the star of both these albums, although they also provide an opportunity to hear more of the Duke’s piano-playing, which is usually devoted to punctuating the sound of his big band. His economical style is bluesy and unique. On some tracks he is replaced by Billy Strayhorn.

The Swinger’s Jump has some echoes of Runnin’ Wild and good drum breaks from Jimmy Johnson. The bonuses on CD1 end with a swinging C Jam Blues which includes interesting solos by Paul Gonsalves and Ray Nance (on violin).

Duke Ellington is absent from the six bonus tracks added to the second CD. Billy Strayhorn is the pianist on this session, which was originally on the album Not So Dukish. Such musicians as Ben Webster and Roy Eldridge are added on these recordings. Webster is the usual smooth saxist, while Eldridge seems more restrained than usual, although he stays mainly in the upper register. Three and Six is a gorgeous Billy Strayhorn composition, with a lyrical solo by Johnny Hodges. Hodges is again featured on the unexpected The Last Time I Saw Paris.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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