88 à la Carte is a far cry from the piano boogies Willard McDaniel made in his days with Roy Milton and Specialty Records. His playing has been compared to Fats Waller's stride piano style, but most of 88 à la Carte is supper club music, with McDaniel fronting a trio of piano, bass, and drums. The material consists of standards such as "Under Paris Skies" and "I Love You for Sentimental Reasons," given McDaniel's confident and relaxed treatment. McDaniel picks up the pace on "You Always Hurt the One You Love" and, on "All or Nothing at All," uses the "slip note" technique associated with Floyd Cramer. If you're looking for R&B or piano boogie-woogie, you won't find it here, but enthusiasts of jazz piano will enjoy McDaniel's club style.
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