Half & Half (2018)

Shavers, Youmans, Porter, Gershwin, Gillespie, Henderson, Ellington, SIMONS, Tizol

John Kirby's Sextet, Charlie Shavers, Johnny Hodges

In these days, when jazz has turned to consolidation rather than innovation, records by old masters like Charlie Shavers and Johnny Hodges achieve gold standard almost by definition. Sleeve note accolades can often do little more than acknowledge and applaud the fact, for Shavers and Hodges were genii, of course: unflawed musicians, total original minds, two of the great burnished talents that were ablaze in those fiery jazz years. All that we’ve long known.

The two masters on this record led separate musical lives publicly. Like most jazz history this is probably (as Henry Ford once remarked) bunk – who can document the meetings on a neon-lit Swing Street, or lonely midnight roads? – But on this record they occupy separate sides and exclusive treatment in this annotation.

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Johnny Hodges

Johnny Hodges (1907 – 1970) was best known for his solo work with Duke Ellington’s Orchestra where he played lead alto in the saxophone section for many years and his playing became one of the identifying voices of the Ellington orchestra. He is considered one of the definitive alto saxophone players of the big band era (alongside Benny Carter). His unchanging style always managed to sound fresh. 

Ben Webster (1909 – 1973) was, in fact, a great admirer of Hodges and it was Ben’s view that no one in jazz played with more feeling. The warmth and passion that Hodges invested in his playing were in stark contrast to the demeanour of unremitting impassivity that he presented in the Duke Ellington saxophone section. Webster, also an emotional and intensely lyrical player managed a similar look of stolid inscrutability when he played. They are a well matched pair and their musical compatibility is vividly displayed on the first Hodges session here.

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Half & Half (2018)

Shavers, Youmans, Porter, Gershwin, Gillespie, Henderson, Ellington, SIMONS, Tizol

John Kirby's Sextet, Charlie Shavers, Johnny Hodges

Analog Recording Equipment: Nagra-T modified with high end tube playback electronics
Digital Converters: Merging Technologies Horus
Mastering Engineer:

René Laflamme - Transfer from Analog Master Tape to DSD 256

Recording location: Recorded Live in Columbia, Ohio
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog

This album was recorded to Analog tape. It was then transferred to the DSD bit rate indicated above.

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2XHDST1119: Half & Half
00:37:57   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Perdido
Tizol
00:02:39   N/A
2.
Jeep's Blues
Ellington
00:02:39   N/A
3.
All of Me
SIMONS
00:01:51   N/A
4.
C Jam Blues
Ellington
00:02:17   N/A
5.
I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)
Ellington
00:02:09   N/A
6.
In a Mellow Tone
Ellington
00:06:58   N/A
7.
Bye Bye Blackbird (inst)
Henderson
00:02:24   N/A
8.
Breezin' Along with the Breeze
Gillespie
00:01:55   N/A
9.
Embraceable You
Gershwin
00:02:15   N/A
10.
What Is This Thing Called Love
Porter
00:02:49   N/A
11.
Time on My Hands
Youmans
00:03:32   N/A
12.
Undecided
Shavers
00:02:54   N/A
13.
I'll Make Fun for You
Shavers
00:03:35   N/A

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