Original Soundtrack


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When ragtime pianist Eubie Blake was in his nineties, a musical revue of many of his Broadway hits written for various shows during the 1920s and 1930s with Noble Sissle or Andy Razaf was put together. Although the production was somewhat of a success and a video of the performance was also released, this LP soundtrack will be a bit of a disappointment to Eubie Blake fans. While there are some strong jazz musicians in the orchestra, especially Ernie Royal and Seldon Powell, few of the singers are very effective jazz interpreters, the piano playing is mediocre (and occasionally relies on a tinny honky tonk sound), and the arrangements have been updated a bit too much, watering down the music excessively. The major saving grace of this album is the presence of Gregory Hines, who sings "Low Down Blues" for all its worth (he was accompanied by the composer himself on a Saturday Night Live broadcast of the song around the time this disc was released) without losing the essence of the song. But jazz fans will be better served by searching for the two-record set The 86 Years of Eubie Blake, which features superior renditions of most of these songs by the pianist and Noble Sissle, who were still going strong when they revisited their music when both where well along in years.

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