Unless you frequent jazz-friendly venues in New England, you've probably never heard of Chan's, a Chinese restaurant in Woonsocket, RI that started booking jazz artists in the '70s and was still doing so decades later. It was in 1985 that the Bostonian recorded this excellent album, which finds her joined by an acoustic sextet and swinging hard and passionately on Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk," Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'," and Duke Ellington's "I'm Beginning to See the Light."
After a great deal of searching, Sam Charters found Hopkins in a one-room apartment in Houston. Persuading Lightnin' with a bottle of gin, Charters convinced Hopkins to record ten songs in that room, using only one microphone. The resulting record was one of the greatest albums in Hopkins' catalog, a skeletal record that is absolutely naked in its loneliness and haunting in its despair.