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Art Hodes' Back Room Boys - Out Of The Back Room (1944)


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Israel Crosby

From 1944-45, pianist Art Hodes led nine sessions for Blue Note in addition to being a featured sideman on a quartet date headed by drummer Baby Dodds. This limited edition five-LP box set from Mosaic has all 70 selections, including ten that were previously unissued. Hodes, a veteran of 1920s Chicago who later received recognition for his blues playing, loved playing Dixieland and classic jazz. In settings ranging from a trio to a septet, Hodes inspires and interacts with some of the top trad jazz players of the mid-1940s, including trumpeters Max Kaminsky and (on one session) Wild Bill Davison; trombonists Ray ConniffSandy Williams, and Vic Dickenson; clarinetists Rod ClessEdmond HallMezz MezzrowOmer Simeon, and Albert Nicholas; the great soprano innovator Sidney Bechet; bassists Bob HaggartIsrael CrosbyPops Foster, and Wellman Braud; and drummers DoddsDanny Alvin, and Fred Moore, among others. The music overall is generally straightforward Dixieland with plenty of exciting ensembles and hot solos. A collector's item that (typically for Mosaic) was perfectly conceived.