Pianist Earl Hines, four years before his "comeback," already had his typical nightclub set of the 1960s and '70s together by early 1960. This budget LP from the late 1960s reissues two-thirds of the MGM album Earl's Pearls, inexcusably leaving off four of the dozen selections. It is a particular pity, for the quartet (which also includes guitarist Calvin Newborn, who rarely sounded better on records; bassist Carl Pruitt, and drummer William English) is in superior form, and Hines sounds inspired. Highlights include "Boogie Woogie On St. Louis Blues," "The Song Is Ended," a quote-filled version of "The Saints," and "Rosetta." Excellent music, but where is the rest of it?
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