Willie "The Lion" Smith


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For this Chiaroscuro LP (not yet reissued on CD), veteran stride pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith is heard in the studio in 1970 and live at a club in 1971, in both cases usually accompanied by drummer Dude Brown. The well-rounded program mostly sticks to veteran standards (including "I've Found a New Baby," "Nagasaki" and "Keeping Out of Mischief Now") plus "Chopin Variations" and three versions of "Relaxing" which Smith was using as a theme song. This fine outing (one of the Lion's last) is worth searching for.