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Hines Shines

Earl "Fatha" Hines

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Album Review

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 Dvorák'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.

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