Duke Ellington had such a catalogue of music that it is very difficult to pick out a favourite. Many were written by Duke himself and some of the most memorable were written by Billy Strayhorn who was a jazz composer, pianist, lyricist, and arranger, his compositions include “Take the ‘A’ Train”, “Chelsea Bridge”, and “Lush Life”.
If I was pushed I would put in the top five a joint composition between Duke and alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges who was the featured soloist on this composition. “Jeep” was one of Hodges nicknames (the other being Rabbit) so it is appropriate that the silky saxophone of Hodges is what is always associated with this tune.
As a lifelong admirer (that is putting it mildly!) of both Ellington and Hodges I was delighted when I recently came across a performance of this tune by the Sant Andreu Jazz Band featuring the immensely talented Eva Fernandez taking the Johnny Hodges role as featured soloist.
I think she was about 15 when she recorded this and what a talent, also listen for the brilliant sax section…………Hodges, Carney, Gonzalves and Procope would be proud!