Johnny Hodges – Live at Storyville




In 1951 Duke Ellington’s biggest star soloist decided to finally leave the band he had been with since 1928, seduced by JATP’s impresario Normal Granz. The jazz world was perhaps heartbroken, but at the same time Hodges took with him, Ellingtonians Sonny Greer, Lawrence Brown and Al Sears, to form a small group called Johnny Hodges and His Orchestra. Arrangements by pianist Leroy Lovett and others consolidated their sound, which led to a hit record called “Castle Rock”. The Hodges sound was decidedly more romping jump blues than the style of The Duke, but Hodges would always keep many Ellington standards in the book. On this outing, we find a live version of the 1952 band, with the exception of drummer Greer, it is the same band that had the hit record. Trumpet player Emmet Berry plays with fire and passion, and he’s very strong. Tenor Saxist Sears sounds much like he did with Duke, pacing his solos with an imperative crescendo, often leading to an explosively rocking climax. Brown and Hodges are  in perfect form, fully mature here from their years with Ellington, and generally leading the charge with their distinctive styles. Welcome to a warm and cheerful outing, a rare glimpse of this band performing live.


1. Nothing Shaking But The Bacon

2. Let’s Have A Little Taste

3. The Sheik Of Araby

4. Very Well, Thank You

5. Coffee Time

6. Tea For Two

7. Sophisticated Lady

8. How High The Moon

9. Things Ain’t What They Used To Be

10. I Cover The Waterfront

11. Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

12. Man With A Horn

13. Very Well, Thank You (take 2)

14. Rabbits Jump

15. Sunny Side Of The Street

16. The Jeep Is Jumping

17. Castle Rock

Trumpet: Emmett Berry

Alto Saxophone: Johnny Hodges

Tenor Saxophone – Al Sears

Trombone: Lawrence Brown

Piano: Leroy Lovett

Bass: Lloyd Trotman

Drums: Joe Marshall

Live at Storyville, 1952

Hotel Buckminster, Boston Massachusetts

Additional information

Weight .25 oz
Dimensions 5 × 6 × .5 in
Media Type



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