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Outstanding jazz piano

Reunion in Brussels
Reunion in Brussels
By Earl "Fatha" Hines

Red Baron Records: 1992

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This review first appeared in the January 22, 1993 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

This 1965 lives session from Brussels features the late pianist Earl Hines in his best environment: a small combo (a trio in this case). It is being issued in CD format for the first time.

The choice of material here is outstanding, with songs such as "I've Got the World on a String," "St. James Infirmary," "Shiny Stockings" and "Satin Doll." All lend themselves to the introspective creativity of Hines, whose style and method of improvisation influenced several generations of jazz pianists. The trio is rounded out by former Hines big band drummer Wallace Bishop (thus the "reunion" in the title), as well as bassist Rolland Haynes. And both provide subdued but swingingly supple backing to Hines.

The album is also marked by lovely, almost poetic liner notes by the great Stanley Dance.