“The Jeep Is Jumping” Is A Great Introduction to Johnny Hodges

The Jeep Is Jumping, Johnny Hodges & His Orchestra, 2:51, 178 BPM

The Jeep Is Jumping starts around 2:50 in this recording of the full Castle Rock album. I like that it has a moderate feel while maintaining a pretty quick clip at 180 BPM, and has lots of fun musicality to play around with, including a great muted bass solo (around 4:15 in this video). The Jeep is Jumping features Johnny Hodges on alto sax, Lawrence Brown on trombone, Al Sears on tenor sax, Leroy Lovett on piano, Lloyd Trotman on bass, and Sonny Greer on drums.

There is a Duke Ellington cover of The Jeep is Jumping, but it’s at 255 BPM, so I figured this might be a bit more appropriate for dancing. Johnny Hodges was actually most well known as the lead alto sax in the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and only had his own orchestra for a short period during which he left Duke’s orchestra and later returned. Hodges was considered one of the greatest alto saxophonists of the big band era.

Johnny Hodges and Al Sears, Aquarium, New York,, ca. Nov. 1946 (William P. Gottlieb 04191).jpg

Johnny Hodges on alto sax with Al Sears in the background. 

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