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At Sundown (The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions (Berne, Switzerland 1978))

Earl "Fatha" Hines

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Album Review

During the final decade of his career, Earl Hines was very busy touring and recording. The pianist is in terrific form on At Sundown, accompanied by veteran drummer Panama Francis and talented young bassist Jimmy Leary. Hines starts things off with a stunning solo rendition of his composition "At Sundown," which shows off the pianist's still impressive technique. Leary's dancing bass and Francis' brushwork complement the master's interpretation of "There Will Never Be Another You." The remainder of the set draws from songs Hines had been playing for decades, including a very playful up-tempo "Love Me or Leave Me" and an entertaining take of "Makin' Whoopee" with an elaborate, wonderfully disguised introduction. Originally recorded during a 1974 studio session in France for Black & Blue, this 1995 CD reissue expands upon the original LP by adding an upbeat version of "Just in Time." This highly recommended CD is an excellent example of Hines' productive final years.

Biography

Born: 28 December 1905 in Duquesne, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Once called "the first modern jazz pianist," Earl Hines differed from the stride pianists of the 1920s by breaking up the stride rhythms with unusual accents from his left hand. While his right hand often played octaves so as to ring clearly over ensembles, Hines had the trickiest left hand in the business, often suspending time recklessly but without ever losing the beat. One of the all-time great pianists, Hines was a major influence on Teddy Wilson, Jess Stacy, Joe Sullivan, Nat King...
Full Bio