Art Hodes: That Was the Big Thing – The Story

hodes_artSKF NOTE: Art Hodes wrote wonderful columns for Down Beat magazine from his vantage point as a jazz musician (pianist) who mixed company with some of the early great jazz pioneers. Plus, I love Art Hodes’s writing. Here’s a quote I kept in one of my notebooks.

“Go back as far as you like — to the very beginnings of jazz. You’ll find that the jazz people were making this music on any instrument they could lay their hands on. Before store-bought instruments were available, they made their own; bass on a jug, fiddle on a cigar box with broom-stick handle plus gut string, washboard drums, kazoo-like toys to express the lead melody.

“People were saying something on anything they could find; the lack of a lacquered horn didn’t keep you from telling your story. That was the big thing — the story.”

Source: Art Hodes, Down Beat, February 13, 1964.

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