This double album, the first in the Lone Hill Johnny Hodges/Wild Bill Davis reissue series, contains three complete albums and parts of two others.
The complete albums are 'Con-Soul and Sax' and 'In Atlantic City' - made under Wild Bill Davis' name for RCA Victor - and 'Blue Pyramid'
a Verve date. Also incuded are five tracks without Wild Bill from 'Blue Notes' and four tracks from 'Sandy's Gone' - a pop orientated big band album directed by Claus Ogerman.
Apart from the Ogerman tracks, the music all is spendidly relaxed mainstream. Hodges, of course, was one of the greatest, most original, alto sax players and his playing here is some of his best - whether standards, Ellington classics, or blues originals - and Wild Bill on Hammond Organ makes an ideal partner. The rhythm sections all swing madly and the other soloists (mainly Lawrence Brown and Jimmy Hamilton) are never less than interesting.
The tracks from 'Blue Notes' are by a more conventional mainstream group with a front line made up of Snooky Young and Ernie Royal on trumpet, Tony Studd on bass trombone, and a reed section made up of Hodges, Jimmy Hamilton, Frank Wess, Jerome Richardson, and Don Ashworth. The rhythm section, headed by the always rewarding piano of Hank Jones, is excelent. The five tracks here - the rest of the album is on volume four of this 'Lone Hill' series - are all well worth hearing. However, the tracks from 'Sandy's Gone' are not especially interesting but, mercifully, very short.
All in all a fine album which can be heartily recommended without reservation.