All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Johnny Hodges on soprano

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Locality
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
I'm a great admirer of Johnny Hodges but all of the tracks I have of him are on alto. Can anyone please specify a few tracks - perhaps five or six - where he recorded on soprano?
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Locality
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
Thanks for these - wife in bed so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to listen. Cheers!
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Messages
2,770
Locality
Ilkley West Yorkshire
Let her sleep! Don't you know about Hodges' reputation with the ladies?
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Locality
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
Listened to them now - wonderful stuff! Wife prefers Hodges on soprano to me - no loyalty!
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,420
Locality
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
That's The Blues Old Man is for me Johnny Hodges' top soprano recording, so glad to see it included.

Ellington's first great soprano player was Bechet in 1924/5, although there are no recordings of that period. After Bechet left, Ellington found he needed both a clarinetist (Barney Bigard) and a sax player (Hodges) to fill Bechet's role. Hodges had taken some informal lessons on soprano from Bechet and the influence is evident in his soaring phrases and vibrato (as it is on alto as well). Ellington began featuring Hodges more and more on alto until after about 1940 Hodges pretty well stopped using soprano. The Ellington small groups that do feature Hodges on soprano are mostly from around 1938 -40.
YC
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Locality
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
I read somewhere that the reason that Hodges stopped playing soprano with Ellington was that Duke refused to pay doubling fees. Hodges also apparently insisted on getting paid daily.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,420
Locality
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
There may be something in that, but the sources I have looked at are along the lines I wrote. Wikipedia says he was forced to give up soprano in 1946, although no reasons are given. Other sources confirm 1940 and give the impression it was his own choice. If it was over doubling fees, one might wonder why other Ellingtonians put up with it - Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet/tenor), Harry Carney (bari/bass clarinet), Russell Procope (alto/clarinet)...

It has been suggested that Duke wanted to reunite Hodges with soprano for part of his New Orleans Suite, but Hodges died before the recording of the whole suite was completed. It's poignant that the section Blues for New Orleans was both Hodges' last recording and one of his greatest blues performances on alto.
YC
 

XasGotan

Member
Messages
25
My favorite recording of Johnny Hodges on soprano is "Blue Reverie" recorded at Benny Goodman's Carnegie Hall concert in 1938 with members of the Ellington Orchestra, i.e. Harry Carney on baritone, Cooty Williams on Trumpet and of course Hodges himself, with Count Basie on piano, I think. I don't think I have the membership status to post links, but you will find it immediately on Youtube if you search for: Johnny Hodges, soprano, Benny Goodman, Blue Reverie. Happy to know what others think of this recording. It would probably be one of my "desert island discs"!
 

Members online

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom