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Johnny Hodges

"Never the world's most highly animated showman or greatest stage personality, but a tone so beautiful it sometimes brought tears to the eyes, this was Johnny Hodges. Because of this great loss, our band will never sound the same. Johnny Hodges sometimes sounded beautiful, sometimes romantic, and sometimes people spoke of his tone as being sensuous. With the exception of a year or so, almost his entire career was with us. So far as our wonderful listening audience was concerned, there was a great feeling of expectancy when they looked up and saw Johnny Hodges sitting in the middle of the saxophone section, in the front row. I am glad and thankful that I had the privilege of presenting Johnny Hodges for forty years, night after night

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Charlie Parker: In Praise of Bird on His 100th Birthday!

Read "Charlie Parker: In Praise of Bird on His 100th Birthday!" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

A hundred years ago, on August 29, 1920, soon after jazz was born, Charlie Parker came into this world, and in the 35 years of a life cut short by addictions and impulse-driven living, he changed the face of the music. His innovations as one of the creators of bebop and his stunning sound and virtuosic ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Videos: Three Ellington Reeds

Videos: Three Ellington Reeds

Duke Ellington was a tonal impressionist. Each musician in his band had two functions—to be able to play and to have a special sound. Taken as a whole, his orchestral pieces were like canvases, with different hues layered on top of each other. Here are three of Ellington's top saxophonists on solo showcases, providing an opportunity ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Paul Gonsalves @ 100 And More July Birthdays

Read "Paul Gonsalves @ 100 And More July Birthdays" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Time to celebrate July birthdays! Among the living, David Sanborn @ 75, pianist Mark Soskin, trumpeter Theo Croker, Kenny Burrell and Ahmad Jamal @ 90! We celebrate the saxophonists: Paul Gonsalves @ 100 and Hank Mobley @ 90. Along the way, birthday salutes to Philly Joe Jones, Lee Morgan, Charlie Christian, pianist Billy Taylor and Johnny ...

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May

There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kansas Smitty's: Things Happened Here

Read "Things Happened Here" reviewed by Chris May

Kansas Smitty's is the house band at a London jazz bar of the same name. Band and bar are fronted by the American-Italian alto saxophonist, clarinetist and bass clarinetist Giacomo Smith, who with guitarist David Archer wrote most of the material on this album. The band's style embraces swing era Kansas City through to more recent ...

Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums

Read "Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Bob Thiele is best remembered for his years as the artistic director and house producer of Impulse!. He took over from founder producer Creed Taylor in 1961 and stayed with the label until 1969, when he left to run his own Flying Dutchman Records. Thiele's tenure at Impulse! was its most glorious period, when Thiele curated ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Glasser: Hypocrisy Democracy

Read "Hypocrisy Democracy" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Something of a socio-political scythe--a title and tool cutting straight into the failing system that surrounds us--Hypocrisy Democracy is also a broad statement detailing the ceaselessly looping fallibility of man and his actions. It's saxophonist Dave Glasser's most probing work to date, bound to both our present state of affairs and the history it mirrors, and ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jazzmeia, Newk, Bird, Dave & More

Read "Jazzmeia, Newk, Bird, Dave & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Showtime, don't ya know? Jazzmeia Horn was scheduled to perform in Baton Rouge recently, but the gig got 'coronaed.' So, we do a mini-concert here, and hope she can reschedule when this plague dissipates. Shoot, they even cancelled the St. Patrick's Day parade here; so you know this is serious business. We also continue centennial celebrations ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges

Read "Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges Con Chapman 240Pages ISBN: #9780190055288 Oxford University Press 2019 Alto and soprano saxophonist Johnny Hodges was one of the most singular voices in jazz. He didn't play the horn as much as sing through it. Hodges made a large, ...


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