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July 25, 1906 - May 11, 1970
Johnny Hodges is featured performing three solos at the Sanremo Jazz Festival in Italy on March 22, 1964 backed by the "Duke Ellington Orchestra."
1 "Duke's Place"
2 "On the Sunny Side of the Street"
3 "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good"
Duke Ellington, piano & director
Rolf Ericson, trumpet
Lawrence Brown, trombone
Johnny Hodges, alto sax
Paul Gonsalves, tenor sax
Harry Carney, baritone sax
Bibi Rovére, bass
Sam Woodyard, drums
Johnny Hodges born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1906 and grew up in Boston where he developed his talents as a pianist a began playing of private house parties.
After he started on soprano saxophone he got an opportunity to meet and play for Sidney Bechet when he was fourteen.
Detecting his great talent Bechet encouraged Johnny to continue and he spent the coming years building a solid local reputation before moving to New York in 1924.
By 1928 Johnny Hodges, now favoring the alto sax, joined the "Duke Ellington Orchestra" and would be a prominent musical figure at Benny Goodman's legendary 1938 Carnegie Hall concert a decade later.
Revered for his purity of tone and timeless instrumental ability particularly on ballads, Hodges was truly a musician's musician who won the respect and admiration of his peers.
Johnny Hodges' final performances took place at the Imperial Room in Toronto just days prior to his death from heart failure on May 11, 1970.
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