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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2004
Earl Hines fans owe LaserLight Digital a debt of gratitude for rescuing this long out of print title from obscurity, and for offering this superbly digitally remastered disc at a bargain price.
Originally released as "Earl Hines at Saralee's," this recording has an interesting history. The year1974 was a typically busy one for Hines with coast-to-coast engagements in major venues from Los Angeles to New York, as well as tours to Latin America, Europe, and Japan. It was also the year he played at the funeral service for his close friend Duke Ellington in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Early in the year Hines had agreed to record a solo session for the small, financially struggling Fairmont label in Los Angeles. Since the label could not afford studio space, the January 29th recording session was arranged by mutual friends at the Santa Monica home of concert pianist Saralee Halprin, who also graciously offered the use of two pianos: one a three-year-old Steinway, the other a 60-year-old Mason Hamlin. Earl chose the older, more sluggish one for it's warmer tone.
Unlike typical club date audiences, the small appreciative gathering at Saralee's remains almost reverentially quiet as Hines stretches out on 5 standards plus one original: his autobiographically tinged vocal on the ballad "So Can I." At age 69, he plays with all the excitement and innovation for which he was known over many decades. While the selections range from "Alice Blue Gown" written in 1919, to "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" (1931) and "Don't Take Your Love From Me" (1941), the music is timeless.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2000
This session was cut exactly 10 years after Earl Hines was re-discovered. Here Hines gets a chance to spread out on seven standards which range about seven minutes apiece. Hines is in prime form throughout, combining traditional stride piano techniques with modern jazz piano techniques. Hines sounds especially influenced on Once In A While & I Want A Little Girl. He also takes a beautiful ballad vocal on hos own composition So Can I. This CD is consistantly enjoyable, and is highly recomended. This is an essential CD, which should be aquired by all stride and Hines fans.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2003
I just listened to this CD again. It is an excellent example of Hines playing, in his last period.
Hines is always interesting and often surprising. He has a wonderful way with playing bits and pieces of the tune filtered through runs and original fragements of melody and elaborations of the tune. He was clearly one the greatest pianist of his generaton. This CD is a terrific buy. The sound is excellent, the playing is first rate.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2004
I will start by saying that I a relatively new Earl Hines listener. I had only heard a few of his song (but listened to them many times) before buying this CD. Hines' love and appreciation for the piano and music come across beautifully on this CD. The liner notes state that this CD was recorded at a friend's house at was was akin to a private playing for friends. Again, the warmth and intimate nature of this setting are very evident when listening to the CD.

I would recommend this CD to anyone who loves to hear piano. The bargain price is the icing on the cake and makes the purchase a no brainer.
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I have a huge Jazz piano collection. His performance is one of his stereo best . Wear the head phones and you'll feel like you're IN his piano;Gilssando's,Tremelo's,Octaves etc. running all across one end to the other. His left hand alone will give you a piano lesson. ONCE IN A WHILE, WRAP YOUR TROUBLES . . ,DON'T TAKE YOUR LOVE FROM ME + more. which includes a 2:05 vocal by him. All the other tunes are over 7:00 each. 50:50 . I've played this cd at least 5 times in a period of one week.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2007
Hines is one of the great masters and innovators of jazz. But unless you are a real collector, this is not Hine's best stuff. Go for his earlier recordings.
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