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Earl "Fatha" Hines (December 28, 1903 to April 22, 1983) is not as well remembered as Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington. But  jazz critics put him on their level as a figure in jazz history. said that he is known as "the first modern jazz pianist." The site's bio suggests an interesting history:

In 1928 (on his 25th birthday) Hines began leading his own big band. For over 10 years his was “The Band” in Al Capone’s Grand Terrace Cafe — Hines was Capone’s “Mr Piano Man”.
All About Jazz has a more extensive biography. Here's how it starts:
A brilliant keyboard virtuoso, Earl “Fatha” Hines was one of the first great piano soloists in jazz, and one of the very few musicians who could hold his own with Louis Armstrong. His so-called 'trumpet' style used doubled octaves in the right hand to produce a clear melodic line that stood out over the sound of a whole band, but he also had a magnificent technical command of the entire range of the keyboard.
A third bio, at Red Hot Jazz, links Armstrong and Hines at what many consider the birth of modern jazz:
Hines joined Louis Armstrong on the Hot Five and Hot Seven recording sessions, playing on the classic "West End Blues," "Fireworks," "Basin Street Blues" and composing "A Monday Date."
Here are Glad Rag Doll, Roestta and Louise.

Cross-Posted at THE DAILY MUSIC BREAK, the site that features good music regardless of era or genre. Visit for a free daily or weekly email of links.

Originally posted to cweinsch on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 03:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Protest Music, DKOMA, An Ear for Music, and Musical Moondays.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I believe Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie... (4+ / 0-)

    ....met when they were both playing in Hines' band.

    It was during this time (and especially during the 1942–44 musicians' strike recording ban) that members of the Hines' band's late-night jam-sessions laid the seeds for the upcoming "revolution" in jazz, Bebop. Duke Ellington was later to say that, "the seeds of bop were in Earl Hines's piano style"[68] while Charlie Parker's biographer wrote:

        ... The Earl Hines Orchestra of 1942 had been infiltrated by the jazz revolutionaries. Each section had its cell of insurgents. The band’s sonority bristled with flatted fifths, off triplets and other material of the new sound scheme. Fellow bandleaders of a more conservative bent warned Hines that he had recruited much too well and was sitting on a powder keg.[69]

    Composer Gunther Schuller said:

        ... In 1943 I heard the great Earl Hines band which had Bird in it and all those other great musicians. They were playing all the flatted fifth chords and all the modern harmonies and substitutions and Dizzy Gillespie runs in the trumpet section work. Two years later I read that that was 'bop' and the beginning of modern jazz ... but the band never made recordings.[70][71][72]

    Dizzy Gillespie wrote of that band:

        ... We had a beautiful, beautiful band with Earl Hines. He’s a master and you learn a lot from him, self-discipline and organization. Earl Hines was the pianist in his band and I mean he played some piano. We used to make him play longer solos. We’d say, “Play another one, Gates”. And he’d go again. They’d say, “Lay out, lay out, lay out …” and we wouldn’t come in. Earl had to play again. He’d look up and keep playing and grinning. You couldn’t flush him … no matter what you did. We wouldn’t come in when we were supposed to and make him play another chorus. He’d be sweating, man, but he’s so cool, he's the epitome of perfection. Earl Hines is the master of composure. He is class personified. I don’t know a classier musician or a classier person in any field than Earl Hines”[73]

    I guess this is a recording from those legendary late-night, small band jams that Hines' players would take part in back in hotel rooms, which basically invented bebop:

    "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

    by Bush Bites on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 04:48:57 AM PDT

  •  Great stuff! Thanks, cweinsch. (And Bush Bites!) (4+ / 0-)

    How about a treatment sometime of my favorite trumpeter -- Sweet Clifford Brown.

    A PALINDROME: Slip-up, set in Utah trail, no? M. Romney -- odd! Elder an AMC man, a Red-led doyen. Mormon liar that unites pupils?

    by Obama Amabo on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:16:21 AM PDT

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    I am obsessed with Jaz piano.

    Also, I do "Glad Rag Doll" almost every show.

    Recced and republished to Protest Music, etc.


    Hairy Larry

    Please join the Protest Music Group where we sing truth to power.

    by hairylarry on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:25:59 AM PDT

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