He began his music career in clubs in Chicago, where he played with Bud Freemanand Gene Krupa , but only got prominence when he went to New York in 1938. He played here with men like Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow. Around 1940, he formed his own band, with which he would play in and around Chicago for decades. In the 1940s, he played on many recordings of more traditional jazz musicians, but he also made recordings. In 1944-1945 he took on for Blue Note Records. At the end of the 1960s he had a television program on jazz, in which he played with Pee Wee Russellamong other things. He also wrote for music magazines (' Jazz Record ' and ' Down beat ') and cover texts. He was musically active until the end of the 1980s.
In 1998, he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.
- The Jazz Record Story (recordings 1943-1946), Jazzology
- The Best in Two Beats, Blue Note
- Dixieland Jubilee, Blue Note
- Art Hodes Hot Five (recordings 1945-1949), Blue Note
- Chicago Rhythm Kings (recordings 1940), Riverside
- Plain Old Blues, Emarcy
- Friar's Inn Revisited, Delmark
- Tribute to the Greats, Delmark
- Just the Two of Us, Muse
- Someone to watch Over me, Muse
- Art Hodes Jazz Trio, Jazzology