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Art Hodes

Arthur W. Hodes (November 14, 1904 in Russia; died March 4, 1993 in Harvey, Illinois) is an American jazz pianist born in Ukraine. His family settled in Chicago, Illinois when he was a few months old. His career began in Chicago clubs, but he did not gain wider attention until moving to New York City in 1938. In that city he played with Sidney Bechet, Joe Marsala, and Mezz Mezzrow. Later Hodes founded his own band in the 1940s and it would be associated with his home town of Chicago. He and his band played mostly in that area for the next forty years. He also wrote for jazz magazines like Jazz Record. He remained an educator and writer in jazz.

His style tended to be traditional and influenced by the blues. This meant he had generally taken the position against bebop in the jazz debates of the 1940s.

In 1998, he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.


Album Review

Art Hodes: Up In Volly's Room

Read "Up In Volly's Room" reviewed by Jack Huntley

Throughout his long career in and around the music industry, Art Hodes was a dedicated lover of what is now termed traditional jazz but was then the current, dynamic confluence of blues, ragtime and Dixieland influences. Coming of age in Chicago's vibrant 1920s music scene, Hodes digested the sounds of transplanted New Orleans musicians such as Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, and Jimmie Noone. The music made a deep impression on Hodes, who became an accomplished pianist, recorded many respected albums, ...

Album Review

Art Hodes: Friar's Inn Revisited

Read "Friar's Inn Revisited" reviewed by Nic Jones

Delmark has hit the spot with this reissue in terms of music as social history. Trombonist George Brunis and clarinetist Volly DeFaut were both members of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, a band that played Friar's Inn in Chicago in the 1920s, and at the time this music was caught--over the course of various dates in the late 1960s and early 1970s--they showed no diminution of their powers. Art Hodes, of course, had been following his own path through the ...

Album Review

Art Hodes: Tribute to the Greats

Read "Tribute to the Greats" reviewed by Derek Taylor

As Delmark CEO and Chicago fixture for nearly half a century, Bob Koester makes no bones about his deep affection for traditional jazz. Throughout the idiom’s periodic lean years he’s provided a safe harbor of sorts for musicians’ to keep their sounds alive by financing new recording dates and re-pressing old ones. Art Hodes, radio host, jazz musicologist, publisher and pianist, was among those in Koester’s Delmark orbit and recorded frequently for the label. But significantly this recent collection is ...

Album Review

Art Hodes: Vintage Art Hodes

Read "Vintage Art Hodes" reviewed by Mike Neely

Vintage Art Hodes documents the solo piano work of an early jazz master, a neglected one who belongs in the pantheon of James P. Johnson, Earl Hines, and Teddy Wilson. He was low-key and self-effacing musically, but few pianists were as solid in both the accompanist and solo roles. Also, few pianists have had such a wealth of resources as Hodes, meaning genuine resources reflecting an intimate understanding of the various streams leading into what became jazz. Hodes could play ...

Album Review

Art Hodes & Barney Bigard: Bucket's Got a Hole in It

Read "Bucket's Got a Hole in It" reviewed by Jack Bowers

This session, recorded in Chicago in January 1968, teams two acknowledged masters of New Orleans–style classic Jazz with a well–endowed supporting cast (bassist Rails, drummer Deems) and, on half a dozen tracks, a brace of accomplished guests, trombonist George Brunis and trumpeter Nap Trottier. Two of those tracks are alternate takes (“Tin Roof Blues,” “Bye and Bye”) which extend the playing time from its original LP–length to nearly an hour. While none of the songs will be unfamiliar to partisans ...

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Video / DVD

Who Was Art Hodes?

Who Was Art Hodes?

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Born in 1904 in what today is Ukraine, Art Hodes and his family left the country a few months after he arrived, likely following a violent wave of attacks against Jewish families. After docking in New York, they settled in Chicago, where a young Hodes began playing blues piano in the city's clubs. When Hodes was 24, in 1938, he moved to New York, where his reputation took off. Here are a series of Chicago TV shows in 1969 that ...


Art Hodes: I Remember Bessie

Art Hodes: I Remember Bessie

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

The end of World War II remains the most profound demarcation in jazz history. Jazz changed so radically and abruptly after 1945 that fans of the music split into two bickering camps. Pre-war jazz fans argued that their music had structure, charm and romanticism that post-war jazz lacked. Post-war jazz fans countered that their music was about individualism, advocacy and daring—viewing pre-war jazz as archaic, formulaic and dull. Pianist Art Hodes [prounced HOE-diss] was considered a pre-war pianist and often ...


Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Up In Volly's Room

Delmark Records


Friar's Inn Revisited

Delmark Records


Tribute to the Greats

Delmark Records


Vintage Art Hodes

GHB/Solo Art Records


Bucket's Got a Hole...

Delmark Records


Blues Groove





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