201

Art Hodes: Vintage Art Hodes

Mike Neely By

Sign in to view read count
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 it all convincingly with a deep connection to the music.

Art Hodes was a Russian born, American pianist who grew up in Chicago during one of the great periods of jazz history. He was in his late teens and early twenties when the likes of King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton played in the nightspots of his city. Eventually, Hodes played with Armstrong, and later with Wingy Manone, Gene Krupa, and Muggsy Spanier. He stayed in Chicago long after many left for New York City.

It wasn’t until 1938 when he left to play with Joe Marsala, and Mezz Mezzrow before forming his own New York based bands. Before his career was over he played and recorded with many of the finest musicians associated with New Orleans and Dixieland Jazz, including Sidney Bechet, Albert Nicholas, Wild Bill Davison, and Vic Dickenson. His style arose out of the blues, ragtime, and church music and he never strayed too far from these beginnings.

The first four tracks of Vintage Art Hodes documents four fragments recorded in 1930. The sonic qualities of these four recordings are not up to modern standards but they are interesting for their contrast with the rest of the CD recorded between 1940 and 1950. The early recordings have a competitive, somewhat showy quality to some of the playing. By the later recordings Hodes had become a master of solo piano. He plays many of his own compositions seemingly for himself. The pace is generally slow, casual, and intense. The emotional undercurrent is at times startling, the extraneous has long ago been burned off, leaving us with some of the great solo piano work of early jazz styles. Highly recommended.


Track Listing: Ain?t Misbehavin?; I Ain?t Got Nobody; Tin Roof Blues; Cherry; Snowy Morning Blues; She Went And Did Her Dance; Sad & Blue; Dear Old Southland; Crazy; Improvisation on The Mood For Love; Call Of The South; Does It Matter; Improvisation on Have You Ever Felt That Way?; Desolate & Bleak; Slow Boogie; Fast Boogie. (44:05)

Personnel: Art Hodes, solo piano.

| Record Label: GHB/Solo Art Records | Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Right Where I Need to Be" CD/LP/Track Review Right Where I Need to Be
by Jim Olin
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Beatbox Sax" CD/LP/Track Review Beatbox Sax
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Seeing Is Believing" CD/LP/Track Review Seeing Is Believing
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Sounds of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds of 3
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Testimony" CD/LP/Track Review Testimony
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Away With You" CD/LP/Track Review Away With You
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!