Earl Hines
(Copyright © 1999-2019 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
Blues in Thirds (1965), 6.5/10
At Home (1969), 6.5/10

Louis Armstrong's counterpart at the piano was Earl Hines (1903), one of the few early heroes of jazz who was not born in Louisiana (he was born in Pennsylvania and in 1924 moved to Chicago). His technique augmented delicate virtuoso Armstrong-style moves with a rhythmic exuberance that set him apart from the tradition of Jelly Roll Morton. He was basically trying to play the piano like a trumpet or even a trombone.
After recording with Louis Armstrong in 1928, and penning with clarinetist Jimmy Noone's Apex Club Orchestra his A Monday Date (december 1928) and Noone's Apex Blues (july 1929), he delivered a handful of 1928 solo piano interpretations of his own compositions, including A Monday Date, Caution Blues (december), Blues In Thirds (december), Stowaway (december), Chimes In Blues (december) and especially the fully improvised Fifty-Seven Varieties (february), that already displayed his mastery at intricate rhythmic patterns and lyrical phrasing. His own band, formed at the end of the year, became one of the best known "big bands" of swing music thanks to live radio broadcasts from their headquarter, Chicago's "Grand Terrace", and thanks to hits such as his own Deep Forest (june 1932), Madhouse (march 1933), Rosetta (february 1933) and Cavernism (february 1933), plus Boogie Woogie on the St Louis Blues (december 1940), a boogie-woogie adaptation of William Handy's classic, and ( Stormy Monday Blues (november 1942. not to be confused with T-Bone Walker's Call It Stormy Monday Blues). Hines later hired vocalist Billy Eckstine (1939), vocalist Sarah Vaughan (1941), trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (1942) and alto saxophonist Charlie Parker (1943), thus involuntarily laying the foundations for the birth of bebop.

His solo piano albums of the 1960s, such as Blues In Thirds (april 1965) and At Home (1969), demonstrated his improvising skills, once freed from the tyranny of rhythm. They also contain some of his most intense compositions.

Hines died in 1983.

Earl Hines sviluppo' uno stile pianistico rivoluzionario rispetto a quello in voga ad Harlem: con la mano destra suonava figure melodiche simili a quelle di una tromba, ma in ottave, mentre la mano sinistra teneva il ritmo basso di una sezione ritmica orchestrale.
(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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