Johnny Hodges featuring Ben Webster (2018)

Ellington, Hodges

Johnny Hodges

The superb November 1960 session recorded by the Ben Webster-Johnny Hodges sextet in studio conditions at the Jazz Cellar, in San Francisco (without an audience). It is presented here in its complete form for the first time ever.

These recordings are exceptional in that no other date exists in their collaborative discography featuring them as the only horns. The two great saxophonists were the only horn players heard at the session. They were backed by a rhythm section of piano, guitar, bass and drums.

A complete (and very rare) octet session featuring Webster and Hodges from August 27, 1964, has been added as a bonus to this new DSD 256 Stereo release. 

Ben Webster and Johnny Hodges had already known each other for over 25 years by the time they recorded the present date together at The Jazz Cellar in San Francisco. The two sax giants recorded their first sides together as members of the illustrious Duke Ellington orchestra on August 19, 1935.

The Jazz Cellar, San Francisco, November 22 1960:

Ben Webster, tenor saxophone

Johnny Hodges, alto saxophone

Lou Levy, piano

Herb Ellis, guitar

Wilfred Middlebrooks, bass

Gus Johnson, drums

 

Rare Octet Session, August 27, 1964

Ray Nance, trumpet

Lawrence Brown, trombone

Emil Richards, vibraphone

Russ Freeman, piano

Joe Mondragon, bass

Mel Lewis, drums 
 

This album offers two jazz masters – masters of the saxophone – for the price of one. Ellingtonians both, John Cornelius Hodges and Benjamin Francis Webster were superbly lyrical and magnificently authoritative saxophonists whose extemporised compositions had a serenity and authority that are only to be found among the true elite of jazz musicians. 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. Hodges’ luscious playing on ballads has never been topped.
Hodges (1907 – 1970) was best known for his solo work with Duke Ellington’s Orchestra where he played lead alto in the saxophone section for many years and his playing became one of the identifying voices of the Ellington orchestra. He is considered one of the defin- itive alto saxophone players of the big band era (alongside Benny Carter). His unchanging style always managed to sound fresh.

 

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Johnny Hodges

Johnny Hodges (1907 – 1970) was best known for his solo work with Duke Ellington’s Orchestra where he played lead alto in the saxophone section for many years and his playing became one of the identifying voices of the Ellington orchestra. He is considered one of the definitive alto saxophone players of the big band era (alongside Benny Carter). His unchanging style always managed to sound fresh. 

Ben Webster (1909 – 1973) was, in fact, a great admirer of Hodges and it was Ben’s view that no one in jazz played with more feeling. The warmth and passion that Hodges invested in his playing were in stark contrast to the demeanour of unremitting impassivity that he presented in the Duke Ellington saxophone section. Webster, also an emotional and intensely lyrical player managed a similar look of stolid inscrutability when he played. They are a well matched pair and their musical compatibility is vividly displayed on the first Hodges session here.

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Johnny Hodges featuring Ben Webster (2018)

Ellington, Hodges

Johnny Hodges

Digital Converters: Merging Technologies Horus
Editing Software: Pyramix
Mastering Engineer: Rene Laflamme - Transfer from Analog Master Tape to DSD 256
Recording location: The Jazz Cellar, San Francisco on November 22-23, 1960 and August 27, 1964
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog Tape to DSD 256

This album was recorded to Analog tape. It was then transferred to the DSD bit rate indicated above.

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2XHDST1097: Johnny Hodges featuring Ben Webster
00:39:50   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Cambridge Blue
Hodges
00:03:42   Select quality & channels above
2.
Brute's Roots
Hodges
00:04:36   Select quality & channels above
3.
Bouncing with Ben
Hodges
00:02:50   Select quality & channels above
4.
One for the Duke
Hodges
00:05:15   Select quality & channels above
5.
Walkin' the Frog
Hodges
00:05:49   Select quality & channels above
6.
Rabbit Pie
Hodges
00:04:51   Select quality & channels above
7.
Jeep's Blues
Ellington
00:02:36   Select quality & channels above
8.
Dooji Wooji
Ellington
00:04:07   Select quality & channels above
9.
The Jeep Is Jumpin'
Ellington
00:06:04   Select quality & channels above

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