Earl Hines & Jimmy Rushing: Blues & Things
Liner Notes   Cat. No. 80465     Release Date: 1996-01-01

Earl Hines Quartet; Jimmy Rushing, vocals

Earl Hines and Jimmy Rushing were almost exact contemporaries (both were born in 1903) but it was not until this record date in 1967 that these two musical giants were able to blend their enormous talents. Though Rushing receives equal billing here, the net effect of the program is a guest appearance by the singer with the Earl Hines Quartet, which was making its recording debut. This edition of the Hines Quartet, the best group the pianist led during the final decades of his career, consisted of saxophonist Budd Johnson, bassist Bill Pemberton, and drummer Oliver Jackson.

Several live dates preceded the recording session with the felicitous result that the band was in splendid form for the sessions. Hines's special affinity for singers-he helped launch Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughn, and Johnny Hartmann-made for a relaxed and swinging session that epitomizes small group jazz at its absolute best. Hines is a sensitive and spare accompanist throughout, reserving his flashing flights of fancy for his solos. Rushing appears on four of the nine tunes, "Exactly Like You," "Am I Blue" (one of his staples), "Save It Pretty Mama," and the venerable "St. Louis Blues." His trademark bell-like enunciation of the lyrics and supple phrasing, delivered in his burnished, blues-drenched tenor, are everywhere evident.

The other five tunes featuring the Hines Quartet are a showcase for their invention, versatility, and musicianship. "Summertime" is a tour de force, featuring Budd Johnson on soprano sax-a dramatic performance of blinding intensity and colorful contrasts-a fitting tribute to Bechet. Another highlight is "Changin' The Blues," spontaneously conceived between a couple of Rushing numbers to give his pipes a rest. It is an excellent example of how imaginatively Hines can refashion the blues.

All in all, a cornucopia of delights for fans of both artists and lovers of swinging jazz! 

Earl Hines

Earl Hines & Jimmy Rushing: Blues & Things

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Track Listing

Exactly Like You
Jimmy McHugh
Buy
Louisiana
J.C. Johnson
Buy
Am I Blue
Harry Akst
Buy
Summertime
George Gershwin
Buy
Changin' The Blues
Earl Hines
Buy
Save It Pretty Mama/If It's True
Don redman
Buy
Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
Sam H. Stept
Buy
One Night In Trinidad
Earl Hines
Buy
St. Louis Blues
W.C. Handy
Buy