Monday, June 5, 2017

Johnny Hodges and Wild Bill Davis - Wings & Things


Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington's longtime alto saxophonist, was one of my earliest saxophone heroes, and I still love his music deeply. In the 1960s he made a series of albums with organist Wild Bill Davis for Verve and RCA; Wings & Things is one of the best of the series. Why? In part due to the personnel. Guitarist Grant Green and Richard Davis, one of the greatest bassists in jazz history, are on board, as is fellow Ellingtonian Lawrence Brown on trombone. And frankly, it doesn't hurt that Davis lays out on three tracks, on which he is replaced by the great pianist Hank Jones. The selections are a really nice mix of Ellingtonia, Hodges originals, and standards. Here's the bluesy title cut.



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