Elmo Hope

Hope-Full

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During the early years of the bop revolution, few of its younger pianists recorded unaccompanied solos. Even by 1961, solo albums by the bop musicians were considered a bit unusual, but Elmo Hope (an underrated composer and pianist) fares quite well during this Riverside set, which has been reissued on CD. Hope is joined by his wife Bertha on second piano during three of the eight numbers, most notably on a swinging "Blues Left and Right." Of the solo pieces, Elmo Hope is at his best on "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and a cocktailish, but appealing, version of "Liza."

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