Earl Hines is often named the “Father of Modern Jazz Piano” and not without good reason. He was a piano pioneer, not only in excelling and exercising his mastery of harmony and rhythm in solos, but in establishing the piano as an important member of any jazz ensemble. The trumpet-style phrasing Hines formed a close creative unit with Louis Armstrong all the while being a band leader and extravagant reformer: Never afraid to go beyond known borders and challenge the listener’s ear.
The 7 CD plus one DVD box set features solo sessions from Hines’ early days in 1928 and up to 1974 in New York and Chicago, 1948 radio broadcasts from Blue Note in Chicago with Louis Armstrong and his All Stars, a series of 1954 through 1955 live recordings from the infamous Club Hangover in San Francisco, 1954 collaborations with the Muggsy Spanier All Stars, numerous 1959 recordings with the Earl Hines Quartet from London House in Chicago and on the DVD, a 1970 take of Earl Hines solo on piano and vocal.
In the detailed liner notes, Dan Morgenstern writes: “Hines endures, and this collection is a fine representation of his art and craft”.