Earl Hines is considered by historians to be the first modern jazz pianist. His unique style influenced great performers such as Teddy Wilson and Nat King Cole. This release includes renditions of "Savoy Blues" and "When The Saints Go Marching In."
Previously released by Delta/Laserlight in 1993, Hines Shines is a slapdash budget compilation mashing together seven sides cut by Earl Hines, his piano and orchestra during the late '40s with six tunes recorded in 1954 by a Dixieland band under the leadership of Hines and old-time cornet/trumpet man Muggsy Spanier. Their excellent old-fashioned ensemble featured trombonist Jimmy Archey, clarinetist Darnell Howard, bassist George "Pops" Foster and drummer Earl Watkins. This information was not provided by the folks at Collectables; although other albums in the Collectables catalog include personnel listings, session dates and sometimes even recording locations, this Earl Hines sampler comes with only a perfunctory bio. Now that this glaring drawback has been described, let it be said that the music itself is pleasantly rewarding. Repertoire for the first half of the program includes Antonin Dvor k's "Humoresque," the traditional gypsy melody "Dark Eyes," the attractive "Intermezzo" from Pietro Mascagni's opera Cavalleria Rusticana, and four Hines originals. Highlights from the Hines/Spanier session include "Pop's Blues," a feature for Pops Foster's primeval, heavy-handed bass fiddle, and a very nice version of Perry Bradford's "It's Right Here for You" sloppily mistitled "It's Right There for You." Unfortunately, the Collectables label is becoming notorious for generating misspelled or incorrectly phrased song titles; their margin of error is second only to iTunes. This is monumentally great music, even if it has been carelessly reissued. Anyone craving more of the excellent New Orleans/Chicago style traditional jazz heard on Hines Shines may obtain the entire original album of 1954 broadcasts issued by Storyville in 1998 as Earl Hines with Muggsy Spanier: Chicago Dates. ~ arwulf arwulf