Johnny Hodges

Vol. 2: With and Without Duke Ellington 1943/1952

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EPM's second album of choice cuts by alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges samples his work with Duke Ellington in the 1940s and blends in recordings he made under his own name, mostly under the supervision of producer Norman Granz. Similar terrain has been covered in variable detail by numerous labels in editions of varying quantity and quality. EPM's handy little 21-track compilation should be approachable and digestible for anyone seeking an introduction to this virtuoso instrumentalist and the bandleader with whom he worked for most of his adult life. The playlist is well balanced with compositions by Ellington, by Hodges, and by the two of them in collaboration. A good place to dig deeper would be the Proper label's four-CD set The Jeep Is Jumpin'.

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