The great pianist Earl Hines had been pretty well forgotten by the jazz establishment at the time of this concert, relegated to playing Dixieland in San Francisco. However this appearance by his quartet (with bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, drummer Oliver Jackson and, on three cuts, tenor saxophonist Budd Johnson) caught the attention of New York critics and suddenly Hines was rediscovered and a hot item again. The momentum would last throughout the remainder of his life and he would never be taken for granted again. Some of the music from his Little Theater Concert was issued at the time by Contact but this two-LP set contains "new" material including five medleys and fresh versions of "Stealin' Apples" and "Rosetta." Hines would record many sets during the next decade that were superior to this one, but this historic gig made them all possible.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow