The music on Parlor Social was privately recorded at a party in Minneapolis in 1951 and released for the first time in 1999. The recording quality is just so-so with plenty of distractions from the audience. Pianist Art Hodes (accompanied by Buddy Smith on percussion) sounds in happy form on six selections including a seven-and-a-half-minute "Beer Case Blues," "Grandpa's Spells," and "Plain Old Blues." The remaining seven selections are by a student of Hodes, pianist Fred Higginson (with drummer Russel Roth), who plays in a similar style. But because there are many more significant Art Hodes CDs available, the veteran pianist is on less than half of the selections, and the sound quality on this set is erratic, Parlor Social will only be of interest for Hodes' greatest fans and completists.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow