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Pagin' Mr. Jelly

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Album Review

Art Hodes was just ten days short of his 84th birthday at the time of this Candid solo piano CD. Hodes had his own style for quite a few decades by then. A masterful blues player, on the more up-tempo tunes, Art's left hand tended to state each beat in double-time, a very effective device. For this tribute to Jelly Roll Morton, Hodes performs 13 tunes recorded by Morton (eight of which Jelly Roll wrote) along with two of his own originals: a blues number and "Pagin' Mr. Jelly," which is partly based on Morton's "King Porter Stomp." The five faster performances really stomp, the three medium-tempo renditions swing, and the seven more introspective pieces are quite soulful. Recommended.


Born: 14 November 1904 in Nikoliev, Russia

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Throughout his long career, Art Hodes was a fighter for traditional jazz, whether through his distinctive piano playing, his writings (which included many articles and liner notes), or his work on radio and educational television. Renowned for the feeling he put into blues, Hodes was particularly effective on up-tempo tunes, where his on-the-beat chordings from his left hand could be quite exciting. Born in Russia, he came to America with his family when he was six months old and grew up in Chicago....
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Pagin' Mr. Jelly, Art Hodes
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