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Sweet Hearts on Parade
Angel Eyes

Bell CD 514

Back In Your Own Backyard

Chris Hodgkins Trumpet
Dave Price Piano
Erika Lyons Double Bass
Ashley John Long Double Bass

1 Sweet Hearts on Parade (3.13)
2 A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (3.36)
3 Drop me off in Harlem (4.18)
4 A kiss to build a Dream on (4.46)
5 Strutting with Some Barbecue (4.30)
6 Sunday (3.20)
7 Angel Eyes (2.39)
8 Almost Like Being In Love (3.29)
9 Black Butterfly (2.57)
10 Jeepers Creepers (2.55)
11 Back in your own backyard (1.52)
12 I’ve Never Been In Love Before (2.56)
13 Swinging at the Copper Beech (3.36)
14 Buddy Bolden’s Blues (3.13)
15 You’d be so nice to come home to (3.22)
16 VP (2.43)
17 Just Friends (3.11)

Recorded by Ben Thomas in his studios in Hereford on 12th September 2014


I don’t ordinarily like surprises, because so many of them feel as if someone has crept up behind me and popped an inflated paper bag to watch me suddenly soar up to the ceiling — but the most lovely surprise is meeting someone new and finding out that (s)he has deep joyous talents you’d never known of before.

Such a person is trumpeter / composer Chris Hodgkins  In fairness, I’d already heard Chris play (on recordings only, alas) and admired him as a thoughtful lyrical trumpeter — someone who admired Louis, Ruby, Brownie, Humphrey Lyttelton, without imitating a phrase.  And I hear the same kind of tenderness I always heard in Joe Wilder’s playing.  (In the interest of accuracy, I will note that I first heard and wrote about Chris a few years ago here

The two YouTube videos above offer music from the new Hodgkins CD, “Back In Your Own Backyard”, which I celebrate here as an outpouring of sophisticated yet gentle Mainstream jazz.

I had the opportunity to write a few words for this disc, and they will serve as my enthusiastic endorsement:

Chris Hodgkins and friends do not have the international reputations they deserve, but they create endearing music that doesn’t reveal all its secrets at once. Together, they make “Back In Your Own Backyard” what jazz recordings should be, no matter what genre: warm, wide-awake, deeply personal.
Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives,

An unpretentious but delightful album that still swings impressively despite the absence of drums”. Please see thejazzman for the full review.

Black Butterfly …… the track has a bowed and plucked bass playing together to nice effect and Chris’s trumpet captures the emotion of the piece beautifully. Altogether there are seventeen tracks on this album, value for money indeed, stand out tracks for me are A Kiss To Build A Dream On, Struttin With Some Barbecue with its extended solo trumpet introduction, the dreamy Angel Eyes sounding like a film noir soundtrack, Black Butterfly, Swinging At The Copper Beech, and Buddy Bolden’s Blues where the trumpet states the theme alongside a strolling bass before Dave Price joins in economically before taking a leisurely solo. Please see sandybrownjazz for the full review.


“”With 17 tracks, none over-long, nicely mixing standards and Ellington staples plus a couple of Hodgkins originals, there’s plenty here to enjoy. The trumpeter sounds relaxed and thoughtful, eschewing any sudden rushes of blood, each bassist acquitting themselves well, while Price is something of a find, consistently inventive. Good work all round”. Peter Vacher, Jazzwise, June 2015.

The Musician

Review from The Musician Summer 2015
Review from The Musician Summer 2015

…The resulting CD is a credit to all these talented individuals. They have succeeded in producing a beautiful, intimate and exciting essay in jazz. Chris Hodgkins’ playing is a revelation… In Erika Lyons and Ashley John Long the group is blessed with rare talent. Dave Price probably does himself no favours working mainly near to home. He is that rarity; a pianist who spans the eras and jazz styles. He has warmth in his playing heard to fine effect on “Nightingale” (a truly beautiful track) Barry Clare, Just Jazz, June 2015.

…….Hodgkins knows jazz, knows its music, and knows how to perform it in intimate settings, making listeners feel that they are hearing classic tunes afresh, their discoveries being the musicians’ too especially on numbers such as Struttin’ With Some Barbecue with a claim to a definitive version long laid down. Nigel Jarrett, 4 star review, Jazz Journal, November 2015