Spike Hughes, as a bassist (one of the best in the early '30s), arranger, and bandleader, made an important (if little-known) contribution to jazz. He arranged for British dance bands of the late '20s, before beginning an excellent series of jazz records in 1930 with his Decca-Dents and Three Blind Mice. Among his sidemen were some of England's top jazz musicians, many of whom rarely had such a good opportunity to get away from playing commercial music; one session found Hughes and his rhythm section backing Jimmy Dorsey. In 1933, Hughes came to New York and recorded with an all-star group whose nucleus was the Benny Carter Orchestra. These recordings featured such greats as Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Chu Berry, Red Allen, Dickie Wells, flutist Wayman Carver, and Sid Catlett playing Hughes' colorful arrangements. A multi-talented individual, Spike Hughes unfortunately chose to leave jazz altogether, in 1934, to concentrate on classical music and being a journalist.
by Scott Yanow