Happy birthday to the great swing-jazz alto saxophonist John Cornelius Hodges!! A crucial member of Duke Ellington's band from 1928 until his death in 1970 (save for a few off-and-on years), Johnny Hodges was a Boston native. He also played with Sidney Bechet, Chick Webb, Billy Taylor and others, as well as a few records under his own leadership.
Nicknamed "the Rabbit" and "Jeep", he played both soprano and alto and served as a mentor for many younger players coming through the orchestra. He supplied some seriously sultry sax that was just a perfect fit in the Ellington band. His final appearance would be on Duke's New Orleans Suite, of which Hodges passed away before completion.