Things ain't the way they used to be is a CD from two of jazz greatest legends, both of whom played with Duke Ellington. This is four complete, classic small band dates with Johnny Hodges on saxophones and Rex Stewart on trumpet. The sessions were recorded originally on November 2, 1940 and July 3, 1941.
If you don't know who these musicians were, here is a little history on them. Johnny Hodges was the premier soloist and section leader in Duke Ellington's orchestra over nearly four decades. He was born July 25, 1907, in Cambridge, MA. When he died on May 11, 1970, in New York City, Ellington remarked, "Our band will never sound the same." In 1970, Hodges was elected by the Critics into the Down Beat Hall of Fame. Rex William Stewart, Jr. was born in Philadelphia, PA on February 22, 1907 and in 1934 Stewart joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra, beginning his most creative period. During his 11 years with the band he created a distinctive element in Ellington's ensemble sound. In his later years he became well known as a writer of urbane, anecdotal pieces on jazz, several of which were reprinted posthumously as Jazz Masters of the Thirties. He died in Los Angeles, on September 7, 1967.
Without giving it all away, songs on this recording include (and there are 16) the title song, "Passion Flower," "Linger Awhile" and "Subtle Slough" to name a few. "Day Dream," and "Without a Song" will take your breath away. If you're not a fan of big bands, you will be when you hear this wonderful recording.