Blue Hodge – one of the first Verve albums to push Johnny Hodges away from Ellington and into the soul jazz mode that served him well as a leader in the 60s – recorded here with Wild Bill Davis on organ, Sam Jones on bass, Louis Hayes on drums, and the great Les Spann on both guitar and flute! Spann's guitar brings a nicely lean bluesy quality to the record when used – and on the numbers that feature flute, he slides in nicely with a hip sort of 60s style – very much in the manner of Frank Wess, or maybe like Jerome Richardson when working with Eddie Lockjaw Davis. Tracks are shortish, but usually nicely laidback – and as usual Hodges' tone is the real element that seals
the deal here! Titles include "Hodge Podge", "Blue Hodge", "And Then Some", "I Wonder Why", "Why Are You Blue", "Stand By Blues", and "Knuckles". On Blue Rabbit – Johnny Hodges works with some nice small group backing here – only just a bit of organ from Wild Bill Davis – plus Mundell Lowe on guitar, Richard Davis on bass, and Osie Johnson on drums. Titles include "Mud Pie", "Blues O Mighty", "Fiddler's Fancy", and "Wisteria".