Personnel: Earl Hines (piano); Marva Josie (vocals); Skeeter Best (guitar); Tom Griffin (clarinet, alto saxophone); Rudy Rutherford (clarinet, tenor saxophone); John Letman (trumpet); Benny Morton (trombone); Edward T. Graham (drums).
Liner Note Author: Stanley Dance.
Recording information: RCA Studios, New York, NY.
Photographers: Norman Blagman; Jim Cummins.
Arranger: Buck Clayton.
Earl Hines is joined by singer Marva Josie for this late-'70s studio date, though the album essentially features Josie more prominently than the leader. Hines became impressed upon meeting the singer and recorded with her on a number of sessions between 1970 and 1981, though she seems to have dropped from sight since Hines' death. Buck Clayton arranged the title track, which begins with a little humorous banter between the pianist and the vocalist. Josie's efforts are an acquired taste, as she drags a bit in "Just Squeeze Me," but swinging with authority in "'Deed I Do." The session takes a turn downhill with the limpid Burt Bacharach ballad "Make It Easy on Yourself" and the nauseating pop song "Feelings," with the musicians probably doing their best to keep from laughing aloud. The dance beat arrangement of "Candy" is little better. Tenor saxophonist Rudy Rutherford and alto saxophonist Tom Griffin (both of whom double on clarinet), trombonist Benny Morton and guitarist Skeeter Best are among the supporting musicians. This disc falls short of expectations so it can not be considered an essential acquisition by fans of Earl Hines; it is surprising that Acrobat bothered to reissue this deservedly obscure Catalyst LP in 2003 as a CD. ~ Ken Dryden