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David Royko Psy.D

Earl Hines Solo Piano

December 7, 1999

My favorite Hines is his solo work. I have yet to meet a solo Hines CD that doesn't have at least something exceptional on it. To get a sense of his solo work at a cheap price, Laserlight has a Hines disc, called something like "Solo," that has, among other fine performances, a knockout rendition of "I want a little girl." When he ends up, late in this version, doing upper-register trills against the theme in the lower register, call me crazy but it reminds me of a similar amazingly moving passage in the second movement of Beethoven's last piano sonata (op. 111).

I'm not a solo Hines completist, but I've accumulated maybe 20 or so of his solo albums over the years, and some of my favorites are the 3 Ellington CDs on New World (one 2-CD set, and an individual disc), a Cole Porter disc also on New World, and "Tour de Force Encore" on Black Lion. But again, it is hard to go wrong with solo Hines, IMO.

Dave Royko