Art Hodes

Glad to Be Here

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One-dozen traditional jazz piano solos by Art Hodes were recorded on July 19, 1986 but would not be released on CD until almost exactly 20 years later when the Solo Art label brought out a 40-minute disc bearing the title Glad to Be Here. The octogenarian (Hodes was born in Nikoliev, Russia in 1904) performed with characteristic ease, tossing a pair of originals and the "Tennessee Waltz" (a song he played quite often) into a sequence of tunes consisting mainly of old-time jazz and blues standards by Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy, Leroy Carr, Maceo Pinkard, Fats Waller, and George Gershwin. This man's approach to tradition was seasoned and tempered by many decades of first-hand experience, for Art Hodes hung out and recorded with most of the musicians who are remembered as leading figures of authentic early New Orleans and Chicago-style swing. Just about any Art Hodes album is worth hearing more than once, including this intimate little bundle of solos from the beginning of his ninth decade.

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