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Back to Back: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges Play the Blues

Back to Back is a 1959 studio album by Johnny Hodges, featuring Duke Ellington.
It was followed up by Side by Side (1959), recorded at the same sessions.

Released: 1959
Recorded: February 20, 1959 - Columbia Studios, New York
Genre: jazz
Length: 40:02
Label: Verve
Producer: Norman Granz
mp3 @320

Track listing
"Wabash Blues" (Fred Meinken, Dave Ringle) – 6:22
"Basin Street Blues" (Spencer Williams) – 8:05
"Beale Street Blues" (W. C. Handy) – 7:40
"Weary Blues" (Artie Matthews) – 6:50
"St. Louis Blues" (Handy) – 5:45
"Loveless Love" (Handy) – 6:05
"Royal Garden Blues" (Clarence Williams, Spencer Williams) – 5:20

Tracks 1, 2 and 4
Duke Ellington – piano
Johnny Hodges – saxophone: alto
Harry "Sweets" Edison – trumpet
Les Spann – flute, guitar
Al Hall – bass
Jo Jones – drums

These tracks were recorded February 20, 1959

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Back to Back

"Basin Street Blues"

My Favorite Duke, November 11, 2005
D. Allen "Mr. Mojorisin"
This review is from: Play the Blues Back to Back (Audio CD)
This is one of my favorite small group jazz CD's. I was pleasantly surprised when I got this, expecting it to be good, but not this good! The companion to this, Side by Side, is of the same caliber but I'd have to give this one the nod. It's from my favorite jazz period (1955-1963) and it's performed by two of my favorite musicians, and the recording is amazing. The sound quality of these discs is the best I've ever heard from this time period, and in my opinion, some of the remastered jazz titles from this era are the finest sounding and best engineered recordings to be found from any era - period. Can you tell I like it?

Immaculate blues, May 10, 2008
S J Buck (Kent, UK)
This review is from: Play the Blues Back to Back (Audio CD)
Previous reviewers have already said everything that needs to be said, so I'll keep this short. This is a small group recording with Jo Jones on drums Les Spann on Guitar, Johnny Hodges on Alto Sax and Harry Edison on Trumpet.
None of the tracks are Ellington tunes, which is very unusual. When Ellington plays these tunes they begin to sound like he wrote them. In this case its probably because they are all blues. With a talent as great as Ellington's you quickly put your mark on the music. All the musicians play beautifully. This isn't a wild jam session, so whilst there certainly are sparks they are of a more subtle nature.
If you want to hear more of Ellington's under-rated Piano playing I strongly recommend "Piano in the Foreground" and "Money Jungle". Both of these feature the Dukes Piano in a trio setting (although wildly different).

not essential, but glad i have it all the same., August 26, 2007
fluffy, the human being. (forest lake, mn)
This review is from: Play the Blues Back to Back (Audio CD)
duke ellington and johnny hodges playing the blues in a small group setting. how could you go wrong with this one? you can't. hodges trademark tone is in fine form as ever, and of course mr ellington's piano is sophisticated and fine throughout. while not a mellow album, the mood is loose and laid-back, full of a light easy swing that sits down fine on the ears. there are many essential ellington releases, i would say this is not one of them, so don't start here if you are new to his music; but once you have collected the finest gems in his discography, then by all means pick up a copy of this fine jazz outting.

Από την πρώτους δίσκους που αγόρασα γύρω στο '85 χωρίς να έχω ακόμα πικάπ!!!
Η πρώτη σύντομη ακρόαση, έγινε στο σπίτι φίλου μου. Με το που ακούμπησε η βελόνα στο αυλάκι, μου έφυγε η ψυχή...
Κάποιοι γνωρίζουν λεπτομέρειες σχετικά με αυτή την αγορά, από το δισκάδικο της Μπενάκη.
Είναι από τους πολύ αγαπημένους μου δίσκους και τους καλύτερους των γιγάντων που εικονίζονται με γυρισμένες τις πλάτες.


  1. Yeah !... So good & wonderful album !... If you can read french, just have a look at my article about it ! And go on, my friend !


    Max from Eastern France.


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Title Of Album: Christmas (Deluxe Special Edition)
Year Of Release: 2012
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Type: CD
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Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 65
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