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An Evening With Earl Hines Live At Dinklers Motor Inn by Earl Hines

Over the years, I've seen a lot of noteworthy clubs described as the Mecca of jazz. The Blue Note, the Blackhawk, the Vanguard, Jazz Alley, you know the names. One I've never seen on that list, though, is Dinkler's Motor Inn of Syracuse, NY. For a few nights in 1972, though, Dinkler's was jazz heaven. Earl Hines was in town, leading a quartet featuring guitarist Tiny Grimes, and at least one faithful jazz pilgrim, Chiaroscuro founder Hank O'Neal, followed him there and captured the results on tape. This CD combines two Chiaroscuro releases, a double LP and a later single LP followup, and provides an intriguing and entertaining glimpse of a jazz great on the road, fifty plus years into one of the most productive careers in the history of the music.

Most of this two disc set is devoted to Hines' last night of the five night stand, when he led the group through a set list provided by O'Neal. The list had been drawn up early in the week, including songs that the producer hoped to get on tape over the course of the engagement, but Hines' put them off until the end, and then, largely unrehearsed, turned in a bravura performance of material covering a broad range of styles, giving each his inimitable personal stamp. Disc Two is rounded out with a seven song performance from one of the Friday night sets, displaying a typical Earl Hines lounge set of the period.

The material on An Evening With Earl Hines ranges from bop to Broadway, but no matter what he plays, Hines demonstrates not only terrific artistry, but a flair for pure entertainment that allowed him to sustain a career in jazz for over a half a century. The presence of Tiny Grimes, a jazz legend in his own right who was largely undocumented during this period of his career, is a definite bonus. While the Hines catalog is too extensive to call this one essential, it is unique in its way and thoroughly satisfying throughout.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Earl Hines
  • CD Title: An Evening With Earl Hines Live At Dinklers Motor Inn
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Chiaroscuro
  • Rating: Four Stars
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