Music, as they say, is a great mood maker. I’m sitting here on an extended holiday weekend pokin’ around the internet; you know that “series of tubes” thingee. This video, one of my many favorites, is NSFW because some of the pictures are, well nice but not work appropriate. Some might say the music alone is too hot for work too.
Johnny Hodges is a monster player from a time long gone. He uses the vibrato, voicing, and inflection that became the standard for that era. Today’s saxophone musical styling tend to use less vibrato, have a smoother sound and inflection.
From Wikipedia, John Cornelius “Johnny” Hodges (July 25, 1906 – May 11, 1970) was an American alto saxophonist, best known for his solo work with Duke Ellington’s big band. He played lead alto in the saxophone section for many years, except the period between 1932 – 1946 when Otto Hardwick generally played first chair. Hodges was also featured on soprano saxophone, but refused to play soprano after 1946, when he also got the task of playing the lead chair.
Hodges started playing with Lloyd Scott, Sidney Bechet, Lucky Roberts and Chick Webb. When Ellington wanted to expand his band in 1928, Ellington’s clarinet player Barney Bigard recommended Hodges, who was featured on both alto and soprano sax. His playing became one of the identifying voices of the Ellington orchestra. Hodges left the Duke to lead his own band (1951 – 1955), but returned to the large ensemble shortly before Ellington’s triumphant return to prominence – the orchestra’s performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival.