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Several times in his career star alto-saxophone soloist Johnny Hodges struck out on his own, only to return each time to Duke Ellington's band. There seemed to be a constant tension between them, though it was old h at by the time of this recording. In the enclosed notes, critic Michael Ullman examines this complex relationship, suggesting that the blues classics chosen for this program may have been neutral ground. A place where Ellington's unique piano playing could come to the fore and Hodges' irrepressible sensuality could have free rein. This is one of the very best small-group records Ellington ever made - a relaxed, perfectly integrated set of music that truly swings the blues.

Original Master Re-issues 180 gram vinyl from Speakers Corner.

Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges "Back to Back" Speakers Corner : Online Price $39.60

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Speakers Corner Records