Here’s the opening chorus of Johnny Hodges’ soulful and commanding “Sunny Side of the Street” from Duke Ellington’s 1963 The Great Paris Concert record. This song, which often leans toward sweetness and sentimentality, is anything but either of those in this recording. I also love how he really sets up space for the backbeat here – he urges it’s response… so much that if you listen closely you can hear someone in the background seemingly uncontrollably grunt and clap to fill in that beat at one point – a quality I’ve appreciated about while admiring the dancing of some of the elder Harlem swing dancers.

My dad gave me this record from his vinyl collection, so it holds an extra something for me.

You can see me playing it on my Instagram post. Transcription is below.

Johnny Hodges Sunny Side Of The Street transcription

Here’s a chorus of Velma Middleton & Louis Armstrong’s Honeysuckle Rose as played by the great Arvell Shaw in 1955. Arvell played with Louis from the late 40’s and through the 50’s – during the iconic All Star Band era, and he is a big part of that band’s powerful, buoyant drive.

What a great feel he had. No nonsense.

Also, this record, “Louis Plays Fats” is a must – if you aren’t already hip to it.

You can see me playing it on my Instagram post. Transcription is below.

Arvell Shaw's Bass in Honeysuckle Rose transcription

I love this song. I’ve used it in my dance classes for years. I has the nicest feel, and of course it would… the rhythm section is Basie’s rhythm section. This solo is a masterful, bluesy lesson.

Personnel in this recording:

Charlie Christian (guitar) Freddie Green (guitar) Count Basie (piano) Buck Clayton (trumpet) Lester Young (t sax) Walter Page (bass) Jo Jones (drums)

Transcription of Buck Clayton's Solo in Charlie Christian's Ad Lib Blue

These recordings featuring Billie Holiday with Teddy Wilson’s bands are some of my favorites. This creepy song has a nice Memories of You vibe to it. It’s also exciting for me to hear the legendary Milt Hinton, Al Casey (of Fats Waller’s band) and Cozy Cole in a rhythm section together.

I couldn’t find sheet music for the tune anywhere, I approximated the melody from Billie’s vocals and the initial trumpet statement.

Personnel on this gem:

Bobby Hackett (clarinet) Trummy Young (bone) Toots Mondello, Ted Buckner (alto) Bud Freeman, Chu Berry (trumpets) Teddy Wilson (piano) Albert Casey (guitar) Milton Hinton (bass) Cozy Cole (drums) Billie Holiday (voc)

The Teddy Wilson recordings featuring Billie Holiday is some of the my favorite music. It’s moody, has the nice Swing era 2 balladic two-feel, and it’s just the real thing. A gorgeous recording.

Personnel in the recording:

Jonah Jones (trumpet) Johnny Hodges (alto) Harry Carney (clarinet,bari) Teddy Wilson (piano) Lawrence Lucie (guitar) John Kirby (bass) Cozy Cole (drums) Billie Holiday (voc)

I couldn’t find sheet music for the tune anywhere, so I approximated the melody from Billie’s vocals and Jonah’s interpretation and my buddies John Eubanks & Alex Belhaj gave me some insight into how they heard the chords.

Here it is: