Seeing your photo on the cover of a new CD never gets old. (On the inside, too.) I just received my copies of Hod O'Brien's new CD, It Don't Mean a Thing, and really like the design and the way the photos from the recording session were reproduced.
All photos copyright John Edwin Mason, 2011. Click on the images to see larger versions.
Hod's a charter member of "the underground of the jazz renowned." That's another way of saying that he's a musician's musician -- deeply respected by his peers, but less well know to the general public. Over the years, he's played with people like Art Farmer, Stan Getz, and Donald Byrd, and he was only 21 when he replaced Bill Evans in Oscar Pettiford's quintet.
On this date, he was joined by singer Stephanie Nakasian, bassist Michael Hawkins, and drummer Billy Williams. Bobby Read was the recording engineer. Hod couldn't have asked for a finer set of colleagues. The result is a terrific CD -- heavy on standards, plenty of sharp soloing, lots of fun.
None of the songs from It Don't Mean a Thing are available on the web, but here's a taste of Hod's playing. It's from a gig at Washington, DC's, Blues Alley. He's joined by Ray Drummond, on bass, and Kenny Washington, on drums.