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Mess of Blues CD

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 May 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Lonehill Jazz
  • ASIN: B000OYCM3K
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,635 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. G. Dunleavy on 3 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
Mess O Blues of this series of Hodge and wild bill this was johns favorite.he had a wonderful feel for the blues just try his grantz session with ben webster and charlie parker and see who comes out top on the long blues track. give him a listening drummer a solid bass a swinging keyboard and a fine sympathetic guitarist and he can swing and sway all the way . His demenour gave nothing away but his sound said everything a sound unmatched by any other sax player . so very beautiful full of soul yet capable of fast runs without loosing anything. Bill Davis plays a sensitive swinging spport sonding like the whole Basie band in full cry or quiet and gentle but always appropriate. they were and are unique I urge you to give these a listen try Blue Hodge as a starter .

sit back with your favorite tipple and relax

The Swinger
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Gibbons TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 July 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Hodges/Wild Bill Davis sessions were largely dismissed as 'pop jazz' when they were first released. The complete set has now been reissued by Lone Hill and is a splendid collection of almost forgotten music. This, the third volume in the series, contains the complete Verve album 'Mess of Blues' with Joe Wilder on trumpet joining Hodges in the front line and with Kenny Burrell on guitar adding a distinctive voice to the excellent rhythm section. As before, the tunes are a mixture of originals, standards, and numbers from the Duke Ellington band book. Hodges is in top form throughout with his solos on I Cried for You and Lost in Meditation being outstanding.

The album continues three tracks from 'Blue Rabbit' - where Davis is replaced on organ by Ray Jackson. They are all most enjoyable. Then comes a surprise with the inclusion of the complete 'Stride Right' which is a quite superb partnership between Hodges and Earl Hines. Caution Blues (Blues in Thirds) is a fine performance - easily as good as the original on Victor where, of course, Hines was partnered by Sidney Bechet. Hodges shows just how much he owed to the great New Orleans master of the soprano sax but the performance is in no way derivative and Hines his usual superlative self. The other tracks are just as good.

The sound quality is excellent and the album as a whole can be strongly recommended to all mainstream jazz lovers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Good Mess of Blues 5 May 2011
By Tuvoc - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'd heard Wild Bill Davis and Johnny Hodges playing with Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald,but never togather on one albumn. I purchased this albumn to hear Kenny Burrell and got a wonderful surprise. Wild Bill Davis plays the Organ as if it's a piano and paired with Johnny Hodges it's wonderful music. Kenny Burrell fit right into the mix. I enjoyed every track of this disc and was really blown away in the later tracks with Earl "Fatha" Hines on piano. I played this disc continuously for three days, i simply could not believe what i was hearing what the musicians was playing. A wonderful mess of blues.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By W. BUTLER - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After "Blue Hodge" another 2 years passed before Johnny Hodges and Wild Bill recorded their second album "Mess of Blues" (on the same day they made a very strange "pop" LP called "Sandy's Gone" - which luckily can be sampled on Lonehill's double CD in this series).

In between these 2 dates Johnny Hodges and Billy Strayhorn created their definitive Ellington/Hodges "greatest hits" LP. A recording perfectly capturing the sensation one had when sitting close to the Ellington band during his English concert tours in the late 50's and early 60's. But it still took 38 years for this masterwork to be issued on CD in 1999

Ten years earlier Verve placated the Hodges/Davis lobby with a poorly selected 13 tracks on one of their "Compact Jazz" series CD's. At the time one was grateful to have "anything" from the duo in digital sound. But Lonehill's transfers reveal the Dutch engineers produced lifeless copies of Verve's original recordings. (nor did they get the tune titles correct - their "Jones" was in fact "Stolen Sweets").

Making it apposite this CD starts with "Jones" - in incredibly vibrant sound - with Hodges's alto given additional echo and Wild Bill's organ recorded at full power - but never overwhelming Hodges or Kenny Burrell.

The only reservation one has about "Mess of Blues" is the allocation of tunes on the original LP. Side One was well balanced with 3 medium-tempo and one slow ballad. But Side Two had only 3 slow tunes - the first 2 sounding very similar. All beautifully played by Hodges but requiring much less interaction with Wild Bill. Perhaps in 1963 there was a big demand for uninterupted soothing Hodges in his slow-ballad mode - the longer the better?

Sadly Wild Bill is heard no more after Track 7 on this CD. But there is plenty to savour on the 3 tracks from "Blue Rabbit". Another organist - Ray Jackson - giving Hodges sympathetic backing while he solos on 2 melodies ideally suited to his style. But on "Creole Love Call" Hodges, in a generous mood gives Burrell and Jackson equal solo time - making this by far most deeply-felt exposition of a classic Ellington tune in this series.

Lastly Lonehill included a complete Hodges/Hines LP to fill-out the rest of this CD. If nothing else it explains why Hodges and an organ go together so much better than Hodges and a piano. All the more so because Hines is not interested in playing the part of junior partner. Not improved because Lonehill's transfer favours Hine's piano and the 3-man rhythm section. Whereas my Japanese CD of "Stride Right" suggests Verve's microphone layout gave Hodges a sporting chance to shine.

These minor sour-grapes cannot detract from Lonehill's huge achievement in getting every note Johnny Hodges and Wild Bill Davis recorded together on 5 CD's. How they attained such a high sound quality is not explained in their sleeve notes. Was it from Verve and Victor original sources? However they did it their CD's put to shame what the Mosaic label were able to achieve on their 2-box release of all Hodges's early Verve albums.

If Lonehill have access to Verve's archives I hope one day Johnny's 2 rare "concept albums" will appear on another CD. Especially his Gershwin LP made in Germany with the strings of the Stuttgart Light Orchestra. In this respect how can one ever thank Norman Granz enough for devoting so much time and money to furthering the potential of so many jazz greats?

One can only surmize
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