Earl Hines leads an all-star septet during a circa-1968 live concert that likely came from a radio broadcast. But before the full band is introduced, the veteran pianist romps through a stride-filled medley of "Black Coffee," "Bluesette," and "I've Got the World on a String." Hines features his soloists individually, playing brief trio numbers in between them, beginning with clarinetist Bob Donovan in a leisurely "At Dawn," followed by a boisterous muted trombone solo by Booty Wood in the blues "Minnie H." Budd Johnson shines on soprano sax in a swinging "Do It Yourself." The full group is finally featured in "Satin Doll," at first just scatting in unison to the rhythm section, then as instrumentalists in a brisk reprise of this chestnut. While this must have been a terrific performance to hear in person, the sound suffers from overmodulation in a number of spots, while the lack of liner notes gives no clue as to the reason this group was assembled. First issued by LRC as Plays Evergreens, this budget CD is worth the investment for swing fans.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden