John Cornelius Hodge, 25 July 1907, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, d. 11 May 1970, New York City, New York, USA. One of the greatest alto saxophonists in jazz, Hodges first tried other instruments before settling upon the one that would best serve his glorious romanticism. Largely self-taught, Hodges played in a number of minor bands in Boston and New York in the early 20s but also spent a little time with Willie The Lion Smith, in whose band he replaced Sidney Bechet - who had given him some of the little instruction he ever received. In 1926 he joined Chick Webb, where his brother-in-law, Don Kirkpatrick, was pianist-arranger. Two years later Hodges began an association with Duke Ellington that would continue virtually uninterrupted for the rest of his life. Apart from playing on hundreds of records with Ellington, soloing magnificently on many, Hodges also originated several tunes that Ellington developed, among them Jeeps Blues and...
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