Although very rarely ever mentioned in the jazz history books, Art Hodes had one of the very first record companies to be owned by a jazz artist. His Jazz label came out with 22 selections from five recording sessions during the 1940-1947 period, all featuring Hodes in a variety of settings. This 1991 CD reissues all of the music. Strangely enough, the recordings are juggled a bit, and the exact dates (and which songs match which personnel list) are not given. However, all of the music is here, including six piano solos, four band numbers from 1940 (a quintet with trumpeter Duke DuVal, trombonist George Brunies, clarinetist Rod Cless, and drummer Joe Grauso), eight selections with a 1946 sextet (which includes trumpeter Henry Goodwin, trombonist George Lugg, clarinetist Cecil Scott, bassist Pops Foster, and drummer Kaiser Marshall) and four songs with a trio that includes Foster and drummer Baby Dodds. The recording quality is a little shaky in the earliest performances but the joy of the music comes through. In addition to some Dixieland standards, there are a generous number of blues and '20s tunes such as "You've Got to Give Me Some," "The Mooche," "Too Busy," "Droppin' Shucks," and several Jelly Roll Morton tunes. A historically important release, the music on this CD does not duplicate any of Hodes' many Blue Note sessions from the period.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow