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Blue Fantasia

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Album Review

Unlike Johnny Hodges' vast majority of small group recordings records made for Verve during the 1960s, Blue Notes is a big-band affair and frequent collaborator Wild Bill Davis is absent. Instead, the veteran alto saxophonist is backed by an all-star group with arrangements by conductor Jimmy Jones. Hodges' gorgeous tone and effortless ability to swing are the cornerstones of the album, especially in a stunning, very slow performance of "I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me" and the jaunty original by the leader, "L.B. Blues." One of the more unusual tracks, the funky "Rent City," adds Buddy Lucas on harmonica. The supporting cast includes fellow Ellington veteran Jimmy Hamilton, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, and Ernie Royal. Tracking down a copy of this long unavailable LP by Hodges will take some effort.


Born: 25 July 1907 in Cambridge, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Possessor of the most beautiful tone ever heard in jazz, altoist Johnny Hodges formed his style early on and had little reason to change it through the decades. Although he could stomp with the best swing players and was masterful on the blues, Hodges' luscious playing on ballads has never been topped. He played drums and piano early on before switching to soprano sax when he was 14. Hodges was taught and inspired by Sidney Bechet, although he soon used alto as his main ax; he would regretfully drop...
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Blue Fantasia, Johnny Hodges
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  • 7,99 €
  • Genres: Blues, Music, Jazz
  • Released: Jul 1967

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