The video below is about the horn played by the great Duke Ellington alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges (1906-1970). The voice in the commentary is that of Frank Wess, a major saxophonist of the generation following Hodges who is an active player at the age of 91. Mr. Wess explains that he owns the Vito saxophone, number 5000, and used it when he played lead alto for the Toshiko Akiyoshi orchestra. You needn’t be a saxophonist to appreciate the intricacy and beauty of the instrument. Tomoji Hirikata, a senior technical specialist in New York for the Yamaha instrument company, created something approaching a minor work of art when he crafted this video and placed it on YouTube. You will hear Hodges playing “Wabash Blues” with Ellington, piano; Harry Edison trumpet; Les Spann, guitar; Al Hall, bass; and Jo Jones, drums. The second piece is “Day Dream” with the Ellington orchestra.
Have a good weekend.