Another chapter in the Classics label's impressive chronological account of Earl Hines' big-band and solo piano work from 1928-1947. By this time, Hines was slipping into a bit of a routine, but for the most part the material here maintains the high standards of his benchmark work from 1934 and 1935. His top arranger, Jimmy Mundy, is on hand again, joined by Horace Henderson (Fletcher Henderson's brother) and Budd Johnson. Johnson would later flower as one of Hines' main chart-makers, and here he ably displays his talents on the churning "XYZ" and the Hines showcase "Piano Man." Hines further displays his mammoth chops on two exciting solo tracks, "The Father's Getaway" and "Reminiscing at Blue Note." And making fine contributions of their own are clarinetist Omer Simeon and trumpeters George Dixon, Ray Nance (later of Ellington fame), and Freddy Webster. A highly enjoyable if unessential disc from the Hines catalog.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook