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.