Down Beat - 2/00, p.764 out of 5
- "...it's a big band set with Billy arranging and conducting Rabbit through evocative takes....plays like an Ellington set, minus Duke..."
Personnel: Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone); Billy Strayhorn (conductor); Russell Procope (alto saxophone, clarinet); Jimmy Hamilton (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet); Cat Anderson, Shorty Baker, Bill Berry, Ed Mullens, Howard McGhee (trumpet); Lawrence Brown, Quentin Jackson (trombone); Chuck Connors (bass trombone); Jimmy Jones (piano); Aaron Bell (bass); Sam Woodyard (drums).
Producer: Creed Taylor.
Reissue producer: Ben Young.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in December 1961. Originally issued on Verve (8452). Includes liner notes by Loren Schoenberg and Stanley Dance.
Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Kevin Reeves (Polygram Studios).
This is part of the Verve Records Master Edition series.
Personnel: Johnny Hodges (alto saxophone); Russell Procope (clarinet, alto saxophone); Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, bass saxophone); Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone); Ed Mullens, Howard McGhee, Shorty Baker, Bill Berry , Cat Anderson (trumpet); Lawrence Brown , Quentin Jackson (trombone); Chuck Connors (bass trombone); Jimmy Jones (piano); Sam Woodyard (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Loren Schoenberg; Stanley Dance.
Recording information: Van Gelder Recording Studio, En (12/11/1961-12/12/1961).
Photographer: Chuck Stewart.
Arranger: Billy Strayhorn.
Alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges recorded frequently for Verve in the 1950s and 1960s, although nearly all of the musicians on this CD are from the Ellington orchestra and the arrangements are by Billy Strayhorn. Hodges is never less than superb throughout this reissue, while Lawrence Brown, Harry Carney and non-Ellingtonians Howard McGhee on trumpet and pianist Jimmy Jones also deserve praise. Strayhorn's exotic chart of "Azure" and emotional scoring of "Your Love Has Faded" are especially striking. Recommended. ~ Ken Dryden