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Side By Side Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 23, 1999
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Stompy JonesDuke Ellington & Johnny Hodges 6:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Squeeze MeDuke Ellington & Johnny Hodges 4:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Big ShoeJohnny Hodges & His Orchestra 5:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Going UpDuke Ellington & Johnny Hodges 4:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Just A MemoryJohnny Hodges & His Orchestra 5:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Let's Fall In LoveJohnny Hodges & His Orchestra 6:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. RuintJohnny Hodges & His Orchestra 2:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Bend OneJohnny Hodges & His Orchestra 2:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. You Need To RockJohnny Hodges & His Orchestra 5:51$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Side By Side + Play the Blues Back to Back + Blues in Orbit
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Verve Records
  • ASIN: B00000IKVA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Johnny returned to Duke-and Duke returned to a small-group format-on these marvelous 1958 and 1959 sessions, featuring premier players like Harry "Sweets" Edison, Jo Jones, Roy Eldridge, Ben Webster and Billy Strayhorn.

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The sound of Johnny Hodges's alto saxophone--a tone of ethereal smoothness combined with slyly familiar blues phrasing and a capacity for both wit and romance--may be the most identifiable sonic marker of Duke Ellington's music, and it's much in evidence on the two small group sessions on this CD. One, from 1959, has Hodges and Ellington in a sextet with two great Basie alumni, drummer Jo Jones and trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison. The combination generates extraordinary swing, especially on the opening "Stompy Jones," with Ellington's percussive chords and Jones's drums generating enough power to drive a big band. Hodges and Edison maintain the big-band illusion, fuelling one another's solos with supportive riffs, while Ellington seems to revel in the wide-open spaces, soloing on "Going Up" with an expansive and almost casual brilliance. Though Duke is absent from the second date on this CD, featuring a septet recorded in 1958, his alter ego, Billy Strayhorn, plays piano in appropriately ducal fashion. This band has an even stronger Ellington flavor, with tenor saxophonist Ben Webster and trombonist Lawrence Brown adding their unique sounds to a joy-filled session that recalls Duke's small group recordings of the '30s. --Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

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See all 17 customer reviews
He had a beautiful tone, but could swing with the best.
Rocky Mountain Jazz Fan
This is a prime example of 1950's small combo swing at it's hottest and coolest!
Mr Jazz
We're way beyond five stars here music fans, give this one the whole galaxy.
Johnny Hodges

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By ABH457 on April 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If Martians ever land here and ask "What is jazz?" play them this one! In the 1950s, when jazz was moving in several new directions, many of the star soloists of the great 'swing' orchestras were left somewhat out in the cold, even though many of them were not only playing better than they ever had, they were also being recorded with vastly improved technology. If proof were needed, here is one of those records. It will go down as a classic when future historians review the century's music -- along with its 'sister' recording "Back To Back," which you should also get. Ellington plays magnificently throughout these sides, and Hodges plays the greatest alto sax of all time -- absolutely inimitable, immediately recognizable, and with phrasing and structure to his solos that could be described as architectural wonders. Note the passionate phrasing in his blues solo on "Big Shoe". As for Ellington, listen to his solo on "Stompy Jones." One of his greatest, his chords seem to change color AS they ring out. Thelonious Monk later built on this technique. In "Stompy" DE's superb solo builds chorus after chorus as the unmistakably supportive drummer Jo Jones (arguably jazz's greatest drummer) pressures him with his left stick on the snare drum (like a rattle-snake) and with his changes from hi-hat to ride cymbals with his right -- absolute genius in drumming dynamics. The piece ends with a dazzling drive out by Harry Edison on trumpet. You gotta hear it. All this leaves me without having described tracks incuded from a different session that include Roy Eldrige and Ben Webster!!Read more ›
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Hodges on April 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is my favorite of my many Johnny Hodges records. Like fine cognac, Jeep seemed to keep improving over his long career. Particularly noteworthy in this late fifties set is the energy of the uptempo numbers; Johnny's not noted for speed, but here he skips along like a perfectly thrown flat rock into a stream. Duke seems inspired to pound the ivories with equal (and equally rare) vigor.
On the slow numbers, no alto player ever began to match JH for touch-your-heart balladry. On "Squeeze Me" and "Just A Memory" he outdoes even himself. A religous experience.
The sound quality of the 24bit mastering is genuinely unbelievable! Sounds better than most Super Audio CDs. Be sure to also get JH's Verve session "With Billy Stayhorn and the Orchestra"; has the same awesome sound quality and all of Dukes men blowing the roof off in the background.
We're way beyond five stars here music fans, give this one the whole galaxy. And we're way beyond "jazz" here too, this one transcends genre setting the standard for music that can touch us at a deep and personal level. No foolin'.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ed Feutz (usctman@primary.net) on October 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Abh457 has got it right! As great as "Back to Back" is, this one is unbelievable- the most swinging, emotional jazz record I've ever heard, and I've been listening since 1955; Hodges, Edison, Webster , Brown, Eldridge, pianists, &rhythm are all superb. All tracks great, but Just a Memory my favorite. Sidney Bechet is fabulous on Apex Blues, and Stan Getz on 'Tis Autumn(and many others), but you can't beat Side by Side for small combo jazz!! For somewhat larger band & a true jam session, you can't beat Buck Clayton Jam Sessions, esp. Robbins Nest& Huckle-Buck!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Scott Masters on November 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I luckily stumbled onto this CD while searching through a jazz guide in the bookstore. I've grown very partial to the great recordings made by Verve in the 50's of the legendary performers such as Ben Webster and Lester Young. A departure from bebop or hard bop; these records showcased those legends with top quality sound and excellent backing. Here Ellington and company roll through some great standards, the CD mostly featuring Hodges. Webster, Edison, Eldrige, et al are along for the ride. A really fine demonstration of small group swing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vincent L. Smith on September 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is hands down one of the best, smoothest, swingingest cds you'll ever buy. EVER! I bought this for my bro who intro'd me to jazz and I was floored when he said he didn't have this one. Dude, this is ESSENTIAL. A must have. Again, this is another cd you can play at anytime: driving kids to little league, baking a pie, jumping out airplanes, negotiating world peace, in time out, studying, eating flapjacks - kid, you can't go wrong here - put your money down and enjoy the life you are about to have with this music in it, 'cause baby the old one without this, just wasn't worth it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr Jazz on December 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn split the piano duties on this set, so don't get disapointed to find out Ellington ISN'T on ever ycut. However Johnny Hodges warm sax is featured thruout. This is a prime example of 1950's small combo swing at it's hottest and coolest!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rocky Mountain Jazz Fan on November 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been hearing this album since it came out in 1959. My late father, who spent the better part of two decades as an off-and-on professional jazz musician, considered this album, along with its companion album "Back to Back," one of the mainstays of his jazz collection.

There isn't a whole lot I can add to what has been already said. Every artist on this album is stellar, but a few bear additional mention: Ellington showcases one of his best performances as a pianist here. While some might fault his technical skill (though I can't see why), no pianist before or since had the same way of attacking a chord as Duke. He was also great at swinging, and could "comp" other soloists just about as well as anyone.

Johnny Hodges--what you can one say? Probably in the top 5 jazz saxophonists of all time, he shines here. He had a beautiful tone, but could swing with the best. Here he is most delightful doing what he did best--delivering swinging solos on a couple of nice ballads. As an example, "Just a Memory" showcases Hodges, along with his tenor-playing lion of a counterpart, Ben Webster.

Two great trumpeters grace this album--Roy Eldridge, the underrated trumpeter best known for his vocal and trumpet duet with Anita O'Day on "Let Me Off Uptown"; and Harry "Sweets" Edison, whose trademark was never playing two notes when one would do--and still outswinging just about any other trumpeter of his era.

As another said, this album is a "jazz essential." Like they say, if you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know. If this album doesn't tell you what it is, you'll never figure it out. This album says it all.
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