Milt Hinton

The Basement Tapes

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This posthumously released CD features recordings made by the great bassist Milt Hinton with a number of his friends between 1989 and 1990, all of which are previously unissued. Trumpeter Warren Vache and pianist Janice Friedman are on hand for the first three tracks, including a delightfully brisk "Raincheck," a moving "A Time for Love," and finally "Johnny Come Lately," which features Vache in a sassy mood. "Fascinating Rhythm" is a masterful duet with drummer Kenny Washington, showcasing Hinton's still potent bass-slapping technique. James Williams and Frank Wess join the pair for the old hymn "Blessed Assurance," spotlighting Hinton's smooth arco bass, complemented by Wess' lyrical flute. Although the bassist frequently sang his tribute to his wife, "Mona's Feeling Lonely," this version is a touching instrumental. Guitarist Howard Alden and singer Sylvia Sims (in one of her last recordings) accompany the leader on several songs, with the buoyant "Night and Day" standing out. Although Hinton didn't compose "Old Man Time," this semiautobiographical piece (which was always a hit with jazz party audiences) adds the playful clarinet of Kenny Davern, along with Alden and drummer and Jackie Williams. The warm remembrance by liner note writer Bill Crow salutes a universally loved musician whose considerable achievements during his very long career will be impossible to match, let alone surpass.

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