Johnny Hodges: Don't Sleep in the Subway


Don't Sleep in the Subway


Johnny Hodges (alto sax)


Verve Jazz Masters 35 (Polygram 521857)

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Johnny Hodges (alto sax), Ernie Royal (trumpet), Bill Berry (trumpet), Snooky Young (trumpet), Frank Wess (tenor sax), Jimmy Hamilton (tenor sax), Jerome Richardson (alto sax), Hank Jones (harpsichord), Everett Barksdale (guitar), Milt Hinton (bass), Grady Tate (drums),

Tony Studd (trombone), Danny Bank (baritone sax)


Composed by Tony Hatch & Jackie Trent. Arranged and conducted by Jimmy Jones


Recorded: New York, August 21, 1967


Rating: 70/100 (learn more)

"Everybody knows Johnny Hodges," went Duke Ellington's standard introduction. By the mid-'60s, it was no longer true. Record-buying kids didn't know Ellington, much less Hodges. They did, however, fancy singer Petula Clark, who made this song a Top 5 hit in 1967. Verve Records missed Miss Clark, but prospered by merchandizing jazz masters Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery as trendy schlockmeisters. Alas, what worked for them did not work for Hodges, who sounds like a refugee from a halfway house, wandering dazed and disoriented in the subway, where, hounded by Hank Jones's clattering harpsichord, Johnny can't even catch some z's.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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