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Art Hodes

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Art Hodes
Hodes (left) on the piano with Pete Johnson.
Hodes (left) on the piano with Pete Johnson.
Background information
Birth nameArthur W. Hodes
Born(1904-11-14)November 14, 1904
Mykolaiv, Russian Empire
DiedMarch 4, 1993(1993-03-04) (aged 88)
Harvey, Illinois, U.S.

Arthur W. Hodes (Ukrainian: Артур Гоудс; November 14, 1904 – March 4, 1993),[1] was a Russian Empire-born American jazz and blues pianist. He is regarded by many critics as the greatest white blues pianist.[2]


Hodes was born in Mykolaiv, in present-day Ukraine.[1] 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 New York, he played with Sidney Bechet, Joe Marsala, and Mezz Mezzrow.[1]

Later, Hodes founded his own band in the 1940s and it would be associated with his hometown of Chicago. He and his band played mostly in that area for the next forty years.[1] In the late 1960s, Hodes starred in a series of TV shows on Chicago style jazz called Jazz Alley,[1] where he appeared with musicians such as Pee Wee Russell and Jimmy McPartland. Episodes of the show have been released on DVD.[citation needed]

Hodes was editor of the magazine, The Jazz Record, for five years in the 1940s.[3]

He remained an educator and writer in jazz.[1] During this period of his life and into the 1970s, Hodes resided in south suburban Park Forest, Illinois.[citation needed]

He toured the UK in 1987, recording with drummer John Petters. In 1988, he visited Ireland to appear at the Cork Jazz Festival with Petters and Wild Bill Davison. A tour, the Legends of American Dixieland, followed in May 1989 with the same line-up.[citation needed]

Other musicians he played and recorded with included Louis Armstrong, Wingy Manone, Gene Krupa, Muggsy Spanier, Joe Marsala, Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet, Kenny Davern, Albert Nicholas, Wild Bill Davison, Barney Bigard, and Vic Dickenson.[4]

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

Ethan Iverson wrote an article on Hodes, "Selections from the Gutter", which includes a transcription of Hodes's first 78, "Ross Tavern Boogie".[citation needed]

Hodes died in March 1993, in Harvey, Illinois, at the age of 88.[5]


Bebop? Avant-garde? Yeah, I heard of them. I also heard of these kids called the Bright Brothers – Wright Brothers? – who claim they can make you fly. It'll never catch on, none of it.

— Art Hodes (1981)[6]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Notes
1944 Apex Blues Jazzology Trio, with Mezz Mezzrow (clarinet), Danny Alvin (drums); in concert[7]
1961? Cat on the Keys Concert-Disc w/ Milt Grosz, Eddie Burleton, Truck Parham & Freddie Kohlman
1965 And His All-Star Stompers Jazzology With Larry Conger (trumpet), Charlie Bornemann (trombone), Tony Parenti (clarinet), Johnny Haynes (bass), Cliff Leeman (drums)[7]
1968 Bucket's Got A Hole In It Delmark With Barney Bigard (clarinet and co-leader), Rail Wilson (bass), Barrett Deems (drums) - Nap Trottier (trumpet) and George Brunis (trombone) on some tracks
1971 Recollections from the Past Solo Art Solo piano, plus narration[7]
1971 Art For Art's Sake Jazzology Records
1972 Up in Volly's Room Delmark With Nappy Trottier (trumpet), George Brunis (trombone), Volly DeFaut (clarinet), Truck Parham (bass), Barrett Deems (drums)[8]
1976? I Remember Bessie Euphonic reissued by Delmark
1973 Selections From The Gutter Storyville Records
1977 Indianapolis Concert Solo Art Duo, with Herb Guy (bass); in concert[7]
1976–78 Tribute to the Greats Euphonic Solo piano;[7] reissued by Delmark
1978 Echoes of Chicago Jazzology With full ensemble[7]
1978 Art Hodes and the Magnolia Jazz Band, Volume One GHB [7]
1978 Art Hodes and the Magnolia Jazz Band, Volume Two GHB [7]
1980 When Music Was Music Euphonic Sound Recordings
1981 Blues to Save the Trees L + R Some tracks solo piano; some tracks trio, with Reimer Von Essen (clarinet), Trevor Richards (drums)[9]
1981 Someone to Watch Over Me, "Live at Hanratty's" Muse Solo piano
1983 South Side Memories Sackville Solo piano[9]
1983 At Cafe Des Copains Solo Art Solo piano; in concert[7]
1985 Blues in the Night Sackville Solo piano[9]
1986 Glad to Be Here Solo Art Solo piano[7]
1986 Art Hodes Jazz Trio Jazzology With Trevor Whiting (reeds), John Petters (drums), Dave Bennett (vocals)[7]
1987 Art Hodes Trio Jazzology Trio, with Reimer Von Essen (clarinet, alto sax), Trevor Richards (drums)[7]
1987 Art Hodes Blue Five and Six Jazzology With Al Fairweather and Pat Halcox (trumpet), Wally Fawkes (clarinet), Fapy Lafertin (guitar), Andy Brown (bass), Dave Evans and Stan Greig (drums), Johnny Mars (vocals)[7]
1987? Joy to the Jazz World Parkwood Solo piano
1988 Pagin' Mr. Jelly Candid Solo piano[7]
1988 Something Personal Alone With Friends Dawn Club 77-Series Solo piano
1988 Keepin' out of Mischief Now Candid Solo piano[7]
Together Again CMJ with Wild Bill Davison & John Petters
Sensation CMJ with John Petters & Trevor Whiting
Coalition Jazzology With Wild Bill Davison (cornet), Campbell Burnap (trombone), Dave Bailey (clarinet), Keith Donald (bass), John Peters (drums)


  • Vintage Art Hodes (Jazzology, 1930–50)[7]
  • Sessions at Blue Note (1944)[9]
  • The Jazz Record Story (Jazzology, 1943–46)[7]
  • The Duets (Solo Art, 1969–77)[7]
  • The Parkwood Creative Concept Sessions, Volume I (Parkwood, 1987–89)[8]

Side appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 204/6. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ "Art Hodes American pianist". www.britannica.com. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  3. ^ Pareles, Jon (March 6, 1993). "Art Hodes, a Pianist Known for the Blues In the Old Style, 88". The New York Times. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  4. ^ "Art Hodes: Vintage Art Hodes album review". Allaboutjazz.com. May 2001. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  5. ^ "Obituary: Art Hodes". The Independent. October 23, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  6. ^ quoted in Morton, Brian; Richard Cook (2010) [1992]. The Penguin Jazz Guide: The History of the Music in the 1001 Best Albums. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (10th ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 525. ISBN 978-0-14-104831-4.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. pp. 710–711. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  8. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1996). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (3rd ed.). Penguin. pp. 639–640. ISBN 978-0-14-051368-4.
  9. ^ a b c d Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1992). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, LP & Cassette (1st ed.). Penguin. pp. 526–527. ISBN 978-0-14-015364-4.

External links[edit]